Israel and the role of Christians








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Israel and the Christian:

Special Proclamation Prayer for Today

Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Your Word declares that if we, Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, then will You hear from heaven and You will forgive our sin and will heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We bow before Your sacred throne and humbly ask Your forgiveness for the sin of idolatry! Your word demands; “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”, yet we have, under the banner of pluralism and hedonism, embraced and worshipped the gods of this world. Take us back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! (Exodus 20:3)

Through moral and spiritual compromise and complacency, we have allowed our nation to conform to the ways of the world by turning away from our spiritual roots found in Your Word. (Romans 12:2)

Our silence has produced a secular nation and all nations that forget You, shall be forsaken. We ask that You hear our cry, for we need You, in these desperate times, to lead us out of our politically correct fog of constant confusion and take us back to Your moral clarity. (Psalm 9:17)

O Lord our God, King of the Universe, we confess that America cannot survive without Your presence. Your statutes founded this blessed land and we look to You, Father God, to preserve it, for “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12)

As commanded in scripture, we pray for all who are in authority who govern our nation; may their decisions be led by the perfect compass of your Holy Word which clearly discerns right from wrong. (I Timothy 2:1-3)

O Lord our God, You have promised to raise up righteous leaders into high places and to remove those who have displayed unrighteous authority. We earnestly pray that You will once again exalt the righteous and expose the deeds of the ungodly. (Proverbs 14:33-35)

America must have spiritual renewal for moral survival! In this season of prayer, we unite in humble heartfelt hope and ask that You forgive us and deliver us from the folly of our transgressions. Guide and sustain our nation as we turn from our sin and return to You, the God of our fathers. (Psalm 51:1-17)

The time has come to declare our trust in You to heal our land. (2 Samuel 22:2-4; Psalm 5:11-12; Psalm 57:1-3)

We pledge to exercise our God given rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in voting for future leaders from the county courthouse to the White House who obey and honor Your Word. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 119:44-48; Psalm5:11)

We pledge to vote the Bible in selecting those that will govern our country. (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for You are good and Your mercy endures forever. We petition heaven with our united prayers as we seek Your blessing, Your peace and Your protection for America. (I Chronicles 16:34; Numbers 6:22-26; Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11)

May the Lord our God, be with us, as He was with our forefathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways... that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. (1 Kings 8:57-60)

Amen

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Israel and the Christian


from Trends in Prophecy..................................................................................................................................................

TRAIN WRECK: Netanyahu heading for U.S. as Israeli trust in President Obama plummets

Posted: 06 Nov 2009 04:00 AM PST

by Joel Rosenberg | November 3, 2009

(Jerusalem, Israel) — If I had to rank the most pro-Israel leaders in the Western alliance right now, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and French President Nicolas Sarkozy would top the list. President Obama wouldn’t even be on the list.-

Last Friday night, I gave an address to the Christian Embassy banquet in northern Virginia. The title of my talk was, “Train Wreck: The Coming Collision of U.S.-Israeli Relations.” With deep concern and regret, I noted that just as the Iranian nuclear threat is worsening, we are currently witnessing the worst strains in U.S.-Israel relations in memory. Before January, polls showed 88% of Israelis believed President Bush was pro-Israel.

In May, a Jerusalem Post poll found that only 31% of Israelis believed President Obama was pro-Israel. By August, a Jerusalem Post poll found only 4% of Israelis believed President Obama was pro-Israel.

Israel’s plummeting confidence that the White House truly understands their security needs and will stand with them as a faithful ally is the results of numerous actions and statements by the President and his senior advisors.

UPDATE: Fortunately, Congress is taking a different path towards than the Obama administration. While the President and his team are taking an increasingly hard line against the Jewish State, an overwhelmingly bipartisan consensus in Congress is standing strongly with Israel.

On Tuesday for example, “the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a non-binding resolution on Tuesday condemning the Goldstone Report, that accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, and calling on the Obama administration to oppose its endorsement. 334 representatives voted for the resolution while only 36 voted against and 22 abstained.” This bodes well. Praise God.

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International Law and the Fighting in Gaza

Since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, Palestinian groups have launched more than 6,000 mortar and rocket attacks on Israel.

The Palestinian attacks, because they are intended to kill or seriously injure civilians in order to intimidate a population, are also terrorist acts within the scope of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

The Palestinian attacks must also be seen as terrorist attacks under a related international convention: the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

In carrying out their attacks on Jews as part of a larger aim to kill Jews, as demonstrated by their covenant, many of the Palestinian terrorists are also violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

In contrast to the illegal Palestinian attacks from Gaza and the international silence that has greeted them, Israeli counter-measures have been both legal and, paradoxically, widely condemned.

Traditional opponents of Israel have criticized it for alleged violations of international law.

Nonetheless, Rapporteur reports have been replete with inaccurate and biased criticism of alleged wrongdoing in Gaza.

It is difficult to evaluate legal objections to Israel’s actions since they are often made in conclusory fashion, without reference to legal doctrines or materials which support the charges, and are often raised out of context.

However, it is certain that Israel has the right to use force in defending itself against Palestinian attacks from Gaza.

International humanitarian law regulates the use of force once military action is under way, irrespective of its legality under jus ad bellum. The two most basic principles of international humanitarian law are the rules of distinction and proportionality: Israel’s counter-strikes have abided by both.

Additionally, the fact that Palestinian terrorists dress as civilians in carrying out attacks does not render them immune from attack - it simply makes them lawful targets that are also violating international law.

While international law bars “collective punishment,” none of Israel’s combat actions and retorsions may be considered collective punishment.

Israel is similarly accused of collective punishment for refusing to admit to the State of Israel persons from Gaza - both Palestinians and foreigners. These criticisms have no basis in international law.

Israeli control of Gazan airspace and waters is also legal under international law.

However, there is no legal basis for maintaining that Gaza is occupied territory.

Due to internal political considerations, as well as several rulings by the Supreme Court, Israel continues not only to maintain the flow of basic humanitarian supplies such as food, medicine, and water to the Palestinian population of Gaza, but in many cases to supply the items itself.

Even if it were bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel would be acting in full compliance with international law.

Israel is not required by its customary general humanitarian duties to provide required items itself, only not to interfere with their passage.

Even the customary rule permits interference with the passage of humanitarian items to ensure that they do not reach the wrong hands or benefit the armed efforts or economy of the enemy.

Just as the legal arguments of critics of Israel’s economic policies towards Gaza are baseless, so too are their accompanying factual ones.

The Jews have gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent the emergence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, having established the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), where representatives of the IDF and government ministries work day and night to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The “imminent humanitarian crisis/disaster” chorus is not only exaggerated, it is also completely wrong.

Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Jews are required to ensure the protection of certain rights “within its territory,” including the right to life. The application of these rights to Gaza is far from clear.

Israel has the duty, under Security Council Resolution 1373 (a Chapter VII resolution), to take various steps against Palestinian terrorists.

Conclusion

The Palestinian-Israeli fighting in Gaza has been characterized by the extensive commission of war crimes, acts of terrorism and acts of genocide by Palestinian fighters.

On the other hand, counter-measures have conformed with the requirements of international law, with the possible exception that Jews may be legally required to cut off aid to the Palestinians.

Israel may continue to impose economic sanctions and engage in military strikes including a full-scale assault on the Gaza Strip, as long as it continues to abide by the basic humanitarian rules of distinction and proportionality.

Other states can, and must, do more to encourage compliance with international legal standards by fulfilling their own legal obligations, while refraining from raising specious charges against Israel.

International law requires states to take measures to bring Palestinian war criminals and terrorists to justice, to prevent and punish Palestinian genocidal efforts, and to block the funding of Palestinian terrorist groups and those complicit with them.

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Pray for the Peace of Israel






Israel Support Needed by All Christians



"The Apple of His Eye...Why Christians Should Support Israel" by Pastor Hagee

There are biblical reasons why America and all Bible-believing Christians must stand with this Jewish nation and their claim to the land. It is the only nation created by a sovereign act of God.

As Creator of heaven and earth (Gen.1:1), God had the right of ownership to give the land to whomever He chose. God gave the title deed for the land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants “forever” (Gen. 15:18; 17:2–8). Ishmael, father of Arabs, was excluded from the title deed to the land in Genesis 17:19–21. Therefore, modern-day Palestinians have no biblical mandate to own the land.

Israel belongs to God himself!

The boundaries are recorded in Scripture. (See Numbers 34:2–15; Joshua 11:16–23; 13:1–22.) The boundaries are further described in Ezekiel 47:13–28 and all of chapter 48.

When God established the nations of the world, He began with Israel, the center of the universe in the mind of God. (See Deuteronomy 32:8–10; Numbers 34:10–15; Joshua 11:16–22.)

2. Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions, which gave birth to the Christian faith. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27, “For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their [the Jews] spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”

Jesus Christ, a prominent rabbi from Nazareth, said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). Consider what the Jewish people have given to Christianity;

• The sacred Scripture Concerning Israel

• The prophets

• The patriarchs

• Mary, Joseph, and Jesus of Nazareth

• The twelve disciples

• The apostles

It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian,” and not love the Jewish people. The Bible teaches that love is not what you say, but love is what you do (1 John 3:18). Someone has said: A bell is not a bell until you ring it, A song is not a song until you sing it, Love in your heart is not put there to stay, Love is not love until you give it away.

3. Jesus never denied His Jewishness.

While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews of the world, Jesus never denied His Jewishness. He was born Jewish. He was circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition. He had His Bar Mitzvah on His thirteenth birthday. He kept the Law of Moses. He wore the prayer shawl Moses commanded all Jewish men to wear. He died on the cross with an inscription over His head, “King of the Jews.”

Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren [the Jewish people . . . Gentiles were never called His brethren], ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40, KJV).

4. Christians are to support Israel because it brings the blessings of God to them personally.

In Psalm 122:6, King David commands all Christians, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” The scriptural principle of personal prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

Why did Jesus Christ go to the house of Cornelius in Capernaum and heal his servant who was ready to die? Jesus went because the Gentile centurion deserved the blessing of God because he had demonstrated his love for the Jews by building a synagogue. (Luke 7:5). When you do things to bless the Jewish people, God will bless you.

Why did God the Father select the house of Cornelius in Caesarea to be the first Gentile house in Israel to receive the gospel? The answer is given repeatedly in Acts 10. Acts 10:2 says: “ . . . a devout man [Cornelius] and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” Who were the people to whom Cornelius gave these alms? They were the Jewish people that lived around him.

Acts 10:4 states: “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” Acts 10:31 reads: “ . . . your alms are remembered in the sight of God.”

The point is made three times in the same chapter. A righteous Gentile who expressed his unconditional love for the Jewish people in a practical manner was divinely selected by heaven to be the first Gentile house to receive the gospel of salvation and the first to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

These combined Scriptures verify that prosperity (Gen. 12:3; Ps. 122:6), divine healing (Luke 7:1–5), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10) came first to Gentiles who blessed the Jewish people and in a practical manner. Paul expands on this teaching in Romans 15:27.

The Bible principle for Gentiles being blessed for blessing the Jewish people could be seen with Jacob and Laban. Jacob, one of the patriarchs, worked for Laban, who was a Syrian. Laban changed Jacob’s wages ten times, each time to his hurt. Jacob became weary with the abuse and told Laban he was leaving. Laban responded apologetically: “Please stay . . . for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake” (Gen. 30:27). Laban was a Gentile who confessed that he recognized God’s specific blessing to him and his family because of Jacob.

The blessing continues in the story of Joseph and Pharaoh. Joseph saved the Gentile world from starvation through his divine power to interpret dreams. Pharaoh blessed Joseph by making him the prime minister of the nation and by giving to his family the rich farmlands of Goshen, which were the best in Israel.

Pharaoh treated Joseph and the Jewish people as an extension of his own family. During this era in Egypt’s history, the pyramids were built and the glory of Egypt reached its absolute pinnacle. Through the genius of Joseph, the food in storage was used to buy vast amounts of real estate for Pharaoh and Egypt.

Then there arose a pharaoh who did not know Joseph. That pharaoh persecuted the Jewish people. He made their lives grievous and difficult on purpose. The Jews were forced to make bricks without straw. They were beaten with whips, they were starved, and their male children were drowned in the Nile River. God brought to that pharaoh and his administration ten plagues that destroyed the economy of the nation.

In its finality, the firstborn in every Egyptian home died, and the pharaoh himself became bloated fish food, floating face down before the Jewish people who had been liberated from Egypt’s bondage by walking through the Red Sea on dry ground.

It is to be noted that what a nation does to the Jewish people, God will do exactly the same to them. The Egyptians killed Jewish children in the Nile River. God sent a plague that killed the firstborn of every house in Egypt without the lamb’s blood on the door. The tears of the Egyptians matched every Jewish tear to the last drop.

When I went to West Berlin in 1984 as a guest of the U.S. military to speak in their annual week of spiritual renewal, I was taken by a German tour guide through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin. What a contrast between capitalism and Communism. West Berlin was an oasis of boundless abundance created by the risk and reward system of capitalism. East Berlin was a barren desert with nothing to offer but empty promises. East Berlin was a poster child for Communism.

Separating East and West Germany were two ten-feet-high barbedwire fences with a no-man’s-land of one hundred yards filled with machine gun towers and German shepherd attack dogs. The German tour guide turned to me and fired a question I did not see coming: “Pastor Hagee, why did God allow the Russians to build fences around the German people, with machine guns and attack dogs?”

The answer flashed out of my mouth like lightening: “God allowed the Russians to build barbed-wire fences around the German people to hold you as prisoners with machine guns and German shepherd attack dogs because the German people did exactly the same thing to the Jews at every death camp. You did this at Dachau and Auschwitz, and for every Jew who died, you will have to answer to God.”

5. God judges the Gentiles for their abuse of the Jews

In Exodus 17, there’s the story of the Amalekites, who attacked the children of Israel as they came up out of Egypt en route to the Promised Land. Because the Amalekites, who were descendants of Esau, whom God hated, attacked the Jewish people, God promised to be at war with Amalek from generation to generation.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”—Exodus 17:14–16

Because Amalek attacked the Jewish people as they came up out of Egypt, God promised to be at war with him until He drove his remembrance from beneath the sun. That meant God intended to exterminate him and his people. Hundreds of years later, God was still at war with Amalek. God commanded King Saul to destroy the Amalekites utterly. We read:

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”—1 Samuel 15:2–3

In 1 Samuel 15:28, because Saul refused to obey the Lord, God took the kingdom from him and gave it to another. The judgment on Saul was instantaneous, because he refused to carry out God’s judgment against those who had attacked the Jewish people.

In 1 Samuel 15:28–29, Samuel said to Saul: “The Lord has torn the kingdom from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours [David], who is better than you. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.”

There is a point here that cannot be missed. Hundreds of years passed from the time of Moses to King Saul, but God did not change His mind about exterminating Amalek’s descendants to the last “man, woman, infant and nursing child.” Another illustration of God judging the Gentiles who attacked the Jewish people was the pharaoh “that knew not Joseph.”

A third illustration of God destroying Gentiles who attacked the Jewish people is that of Haman. Haman was an Old Testament Hitler who planned the first “final solution” for all the Jews living in Persia. The story is vividly recorded in the pages of God’s Word. (See the Book of Esther.)

The end result was that Haman and his seven sons hung from the gallows they built to hang the Jews of Persia upon. The judgment of God came to those who tried to bring destruction to the Jewish people. Exactly what Haman planned for the Jews happened to himself and his sons.

Where is the Roman Empire? Where are the Greeks? Where are the Babylonians? Where are the Turks? Where is the Ottoman Empire? Where are Adolf Hitler and his goose-stepping Nazis? They are all footnotes in the bone yard of human history, because they all made a common mistake. They attacked the Jewish people, and God Almighty brought them to nothing.

Hitler had Jews shot and thrown in death ditches and then burned. Others were gassed and burned in ovens, and their ashes filled the countryside like flakes of falling snow. How did Hitler die? He shot himself and ordered his fanatical lunatic Nazi followers to soak his body with fifty gallons of gas and then burn him to an ash. What you do to the Jews will happen to you.

God promises to punish the nations that come against Israel

(Gen. 12:3). America, the Arabs, the European Union, the United Nations, Russia, China—indeed, all nations are in the valley of decision. Every nation that presumes to interfere with God’s plan for Israel, including the United States, stands not only against Israel but also ultimately against God. God is rising to judge the nations of the world based on their treatment of the State of Israel.

In March 2002, when White House rhetoric was moving against Israel, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) gave one of the greatest speeches ever given on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Inhofe titled his speech, “Seven Reasons Why Israel Is Entitled to the Land.” Here is an abridged version of the senator’s magnificent speech:

1. The archaeological evidence says it’s Israel’s land!

Every new archaeological dig supports the fact that the Jews have had a presence in Israel for three thousand years—including coins, cities, pottery, and other cultural artifacts. The Jewish claim predates the claim of any other people in the region. The ancient Philistines are extinct, as are other ancient peoples. They do not have the unbroken line the Israelis have. The first modern Israelis are direct descendants from the original Israelites.

2. Israel has a historic right to the land.

Israel existed as a nation until the time of the Roman Empire. Even after the dispersions of a.d. 70 and a.d. 135, a strong Jewish presence remained. The Turks took control seven hundred years ago and ruled until they were defeated by Great Britain in World War I as allies of the Germans. British Field Marshall Edmond Allenby took Jerusalem without firing a shot.

Grateful for the contributions Jewish scientists and businessmen had made to the war effort, Britain promised in 1917 to set aside certain captured lands (all present-day Israel and Jordan) for a Jewish homeland. There was no outcry over the plan because the land was considered worthless, unable to sustain any sizable population.

Arabs began to repopulate the land only after the Jews reclaimed it and the land had begun to prosper.

No nation in the region has a longer-standing historic claim to the land than Israel.

Saudi Arabia was not created until 1913;

Lebanon, 1920;

Iraq, 1932;

Syria, 1941;

Jordan, 1946;

and Kuwait, 1961.

3. Israel’s practical value to the Middle East

Israel is a marvel of modern agriculture. She has brought more food out of a desert than any other land. The Arabs should befriend them, import their technology, and make the Middle East, like Israel, a food exporter.

The Israeli Defense Forces bring to the troubled Middle East great stability. If the Defense Forces were not able to bring peace in the region, the United States of America would need to commit thousands of troops at the cost of billions of dollars to secure a land that is critical to our national security inasmuch as the oil-rich Persian Gulf is at stake.

4. Israel’s land: the ground of humanitarian concern

Six million Jews were slaughtered in Europe in World War II. Jews were persecuted in Russia under the czars, under Communism, and even now. For their own protection and development, the Jews need their homeland. If not there, where? The entire nation of Israel would fit into my home state of Oklahoma seven times.

5. Israel is a strategic ally of the United States.

Israel is an impediment to groups hostile to America. Were it not for our strategic ally, Israel, they would overrun the entire Middle East. We have only one friend in the region we can count on. Israel votes with us in the United Nations more than any other nation, including England, Canada, France, and Germany.

6. Israel is a roadblock to terrorism.

The war we face is not against a sovereign nation but against a fluid group of terrorists who move from one country to another. They are almost invisible. We need our alliance with Israel. If we do not stop terrorism in the Middle East, it will be on our shores.

I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States because the policy of our government has been to demand and pressure the Jews not to retaliate in a significant way against terrorist strikes launched against them.

Since its independence in 1948, Israel has fought four wars:

the War for Independence (1948–1949);

the 1956 War,

the Sinai Campaign;

the Six-Day War in 1967;

and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

In all four cases, Israel was attacked.

They were never the aggressor.

They won all four wars against impossible odds.

7. We must support Israel’s right to the land because God said so!

In Genesis 13:14–17, the Bible says: “The Lord said unto Abram . . . ‘Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art . . . for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever . . . ’”

"Jerusalem Countdown" by Pastor Hagee

My new book “Jerusalem Countdown” has just been released and the war of words between Jerusalem and Iran are boiling!

Many have asked me “why” did I write this book? I have been going to Israel regularly since 1978 and over the years have developed a network of confidential sources that have a very clear and certain focus on strategic geo-political developments in the Middle East.

I was given information by these sources who are predicting a military pre-emptive strike that would possibly occur between April and October of 2006. I personally believe that it will be sooner than later unless Iran suddenly yields to international and diplomatic pressure. This military strike is absolutely necessary on Israel’s part. I believe that if this conflict occurs, it could be the birthing of the war of Ezekiel 38-39

Exerpt from New King James Life Application: pp 1472-1473

"...Ezekiel revealed how (God's people) would be restored to their land from many parts of the world. Once Israel became strong, a confederacy of nations from the north would attack, led by Gog (see Revelation 20:8).

Their purpose would be to destroy God's people. Gog's allies would come from the mountainous area southeast of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian Sea (central Turkey), as well as from the area that is present-day Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, and possibly Russia and its surrounding nations.

Gog could be a person (he sometimes is identified with Gyges, king of Lydia in 660 B.C.), or Gog could also be a symbol of all the evil in the world. Whether symbolic or literal, Gog represents the aggregate military might of all the forces opposed to God.

Many say that the battle Ezekiel described will occur at the end of human history, but there are many differences between the events described here and those in Revelation 20.

Regardless when this battle will occur, the message is clear: God will deliver His people--no enemy can stand before His mighty power. God will directly intervene in the defense of Israel, unleashing severe natural disasters on the invaders from the north.

In the end, the stricken heathen nations will turn on themselves in confusion and panic. All those who set themselves against God will be destroyed. The defeat of the enemy forces will be final and complete; they will be destroyed by divine intervention. Because of this victory, God's name will be known throughout the world. His glory will be evident, and the nations will understand that He alone is in charge of human history. God will clearly show His love for His people by restoring them to their homeland...."

What does this mean to America?

How does this affect you? If Iran’s nuclear facilities are attacked, you can be reasonably sure that Iran will counterattack either with nuclear missiles they have available or a series of dirty bombs sold to Al Qaeda sleeper cells in America waiting for the signal to attack.

If 9/11 proved anything... it proved that America is not immune from attack from our enemies. September 11th also proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that our enemies are willing to use whatever weapons they have to kill as many Americans as possible. The highest honor in Islam is to die a martyr killing Christians and Jews.

The U.N. will send their nuclear teams to Iran and look the other way as long as possible. Why? Because the U.N. deeply resents the U.S. for not bowing to its global agenda. The U.N. is livid with the Bush Administration for going to war in Iraq when the United Nations disapproved of that war.

America’s invasion of Iraq exposed the corruption in the U.N. with the “food for oil” scam involving the upper echelon of U.N. leadership.

The U.N. has labeled “Zionism” as “Racism” which means this international brothel has a long-standing documented hatred for Israel.

If Israel attacks, there will doubtless be a vast pan-Arabic Islamic army assembled to attack Israel and attempt to drive the Jews into the Dead Sea. Once again, Jerusalem becomes the target! A casual glance at the geo-political crisis of the Middle East with rogue terrorist states in possession of nuclear weapons... we are standing on the brink of a nuclear Armageddon.

The Past is prologue. The final battle for Jerusalem is about to begin. You are watching everyday in the media the gathering storm over the State of Israel. The winds of war are once again about to sweep through the sacred city of Jerusalem.

The world is about to discover the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Keeper of Israel “who never slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalms 121:4) and His righteous fury in the defense of Israel.

Before you can know and understand Israel’s future, you must know and understand their past. Before you can share in Israel's joy at the coming of Messiah, you must understand to some degree the pain and suffering of the Jewish people for the past two thousand years.

I want to take you on a journey through the pages of world history and sacred Scripture to personally experience Israel's past before you can grasp the magnificent future God has planned for the Jewish people.

First, I want to introduce to you what Jerusalem means to God Himself. The Bible says, “I (God) have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there forever; and Mine eyes and heart shall be there perpetually... in Jerusalem, which I have chosen... will I put My Name forever.” (2 Chronicles 6:6, 7:16 and 33:7)

Then walk with me to the battle scene where King David battled the Jebusites and the forces of witchcraft to conquer the City of Jerusalem 3000 years ago, making Jerusalem the eternal and undivided capitol of the Jewish State.

Next, stand on the ancient walls of the sacred city and see the vast Assyrian Army under the vicious leadership of Sennacherib who intends to massacre the Chosen People. God's dramatic rescue of the Jewish people is only a fore-shadowing of what God plans for the enemies of Israel in the 21st century.

Following God’s dramatic rescue from Sennacherib and the Assyrians, we will sit together on the Mount of Olives and watch King Nebuchad- nezzar and the Babylonians capture thousands of Jews and take them into Babylon as servants of the state for seventy years. Why did God allow this? The answer is found in God’s love for the land of Israel and His judgment for those who violate His sacred commandments concerning the Promised Land.

After the battle with the Babylonians, we continue to sit on the crest of the Mount of Olives and watch the appearance of a Jewish Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, and Rome’s Calvary Conspiracy to execute him. Are the Jews the Christ killers? We will watch the poison fountains of anti-Semitism flow out of the mouths of the early Roman Church fathers that planted the seeds of hatred that produced a demonic harvest in Hitler’s holocaust.

Next comes the two Roman invasions: Titus in 70 A.D. and Hadrian in 130 A.D. in which the Temple was destroyed and 1.1 million Jews died defending the Sacred Name of Jehovah God from Roman paganism.

As the river of Jewish blood dries in the sands of the streets in Jerusalem, we next behold the marching armies of seven major Crusades marching from Europe to Jerusalem under the blessing of the Pope, murdering, raping and robbing the Jews en route. When the first Crusade invaded the Holy City, they immediately begin to slaughter the Jews, burning more than 900 men, women and children under the sign of the cross as they sang, “Christ, We Adore Thee.”

Then we leap from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century and the greatest prophetic miracle of that era... the rebirth of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948 at 4:32 p.m. Isaiah 66:8 records it this way, “Shall a nation be born in a day?”

History continues to unfold with the Six-Day War of 1967 in which Jerusalem was reunited under Jewish leadership for the first time in 2000 years. The Bible says, “...and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24.)

If you listen closely you can hear the footsteps of Messiah walking towards Israel.

This electrifying book shows the future revealed in prophecy by asking the provoking question,

“Are we the terminal generation?” The answer is “yes” and I'll tell you why I think so.

What is God's prophetic future for the Jewish people?

We are swiftly approaching the day and the hour when God will fulfill the prophecy of Zachariah 12:10, which says, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications...”

What is the “road map to peace?” It has three phases.

1.) Israel to give up the Gaza Strip (DONE!)

2.) Israel to give up Judea & Samaria- this is called the West Bank

3.) Israel to give up a portion of Jerusalem as a capitol for a Palestinian State.

Are the Jews and the Evangelicals of the world ready to give up control of Jerusalem for any reason?

It doesn’t take a Phi Beta Kappa to understand God’s position on this. Joel 3:2, “I will gather all nations (this includes America)… and I will enter into judgment with them on account of my people, my heritage Israel… whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also DIVIDED UP MY LAND!”

Jerusalem is the City of God! Psalms 132:13 “…the Lord has chosen Zion: He hath desired it for His habitation.” 2 Chronicles “…I God have chosen Jerusalem that my name might be there…”

There remains only one unchanging and sufficient reason for nations to align themselves with Israel; God has revealed clearly in his word that he intends to restore Israel and that he requires all other nations to cooperate with His purpose. Any nation that rejects this revelation of God's word, has in effect, rejected God himself, and therefore, must suffer the consequences.

At this point in America’s history, we are plainly rejecting the Word of God because, according to Joel 3, we are helping to divide the land of Israel. We, through billions in foreign aid, are pressuring Israel to abandon the covenant land that God has given to the Jewish people forever.

America is in the valley of decision and we are making the wrong decision. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for the security of America.

If America lifts her hand of protection from Israel, God will lift His hand of protection from America.

(Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, crime, economy, abortions?)

He has the power to crush our economy, to allow our enemies to bathe our streets in our own blood and to make a Super Power a prophetic footnote in the world tomorrow. If there was ever a time to pray for the peace of Jerusalem... it’s now! Our world could change dramatically and permanently in 2015.

"Our Jewish Roots" by Pastor Hagee

In June of 1978, I Went to Israel as a tourist and came home a Zionist! I have traveled the world but as I walked the cobblestone streets of the Holy City, I knew I was home! My roots were there! I felt a very special presence in that sacred city that changed my life forever!

As I stood praying at the Western Wall, I noticed an elderly Orthodox Jewish man praying with all his might, rocking back and forth, reciting Scripture and thought to myself “Here we are at the same holy place, praying to the same God, quoting the same Scripture… yet I know nothing about this man or his faith.”

In the days that followed, my heart was charged with a commission from the Holy Spirit to do all that I could possibly do to bring Christians and Jews together in an atmosphere of mutual esteem and unconditional love.

I told my wife Diana, what the Lord had placed within my heart. On the plane home, I sat down and recaptured my feelings and thoughts on paper. I had no idea how to bring Christians and Jews together without starting a riot.

Some months later, Israel bombed the nuclear reactor in Iraq. The media in San Antonio devoured Israel for this attack. I personally felt that Israel had done the peace-loving world a favor in stopping the construction of this nuclear reactor that most assuredly would have been used for production of nuclear bombs in the Middle East.

It had been done with surgical precision without the loss of one life, against a nation that had a standing declaration of war against Israel since 1948.

As the television commentators devoured Israel, I said to Diana, “I don’t believe that at all. How can we express our support for Israel publicly that will make the press want to cover the event?”

Within minutes the idea came!

“We’ll rent the municipal auditorium, call a press conference, and have an event called ‘A Night To Honor Israel!’”

Diana asked a very important question, “Don’t you think you should ask the Jewish community if they want to do something like this?”

“How do we get in touch with the official Jewish community?” I knew there were Rabbis and after a few phone calls, I discovered something called the Jewish Federation where everything kosher starts and stops.

I went to the Federation the next day and asked to meet the Executive Director. I told him that I wanted to have an event called “A Night To Honor Israel.”

“You want to do what?” he gasped!

In the finest Jewish tradition, he called a committee meeting. That committee meeting developed into another committee meeting, which developed into a third committee meeting, which lasted until midnight. The Orthodox Rabbi, Arnold Scheinberg, pressed the Jewish community into taking a chance and extending its hand in mutual friendship.

(It’s important that the Christian community realize that the Jews have suffered enormous persecution at the hands of Christians for almost 2000 years and their trust of Christians is somewhere between little and none).

The Jewish community agreed to join us in what was intended to be the first and only “Night to Honor Israel!”

We called a press conference and the story made banner headlines. Within an hour after the newspaper hit the street, I received a death threat stating that I would be shot before the event happened.

September 10, 1981, the first Night to Honor Israel was presented at the Theater of Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas. The house was packed! The Jews were asking, “So what’s this Gentile up to?” The Christians were asking, “Why are we doing this?” There was enough tension there to give a doorknob a headache. The 120-voice choir and 40-piece orchestra of the Cornerstone Church took their positions.

As tension melted away to the sounds of Hebrew music, I gave a speech stating why Christians should support Israel and we gave Hadassah Hospital more than $10,000.00 cash on the spot. As Rabbi Scheinberg was giving the benediction, the Director of Security came to me and said the San Antonio Light Newspaper had just called and said there was a bomb threat on the building. The building was supposed to blow up exactly at 9:30 p.m. I looked at my watch. It was 9:25 p.m.

I listened to the Rabbi praying and said a prayer of my own, “Lord, don’t let him pray like Moses right now. Have him pray like a Presbyterian late for lunch!”

There was no bomb… but there was an explosion in our hearts. We knew that we had something that was near the heart of God the Father. As we walked off the stage, I said to Diana, “We need to do this in Houston!”

We did! Then “A Night To Honor Israel” went to Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Houston four more times; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Phoenix, Arizona, and to all parts of Israel. It’s an event that has a proven track record of bringing Christians and Jews together in a non-threatening environment that promotes genuine brotherly love.

If Christianity cannot demonstrate unconditional love, we are nothing more than another cult!

Jesus Christ taught the Law of Love with, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 19:19); “For if you love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:44); “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

How did Jesus love the Gentiles? The Biblical text says He loved us “while we were yet sinners” meaning, He loved us when we didn’t deserve to be loved! It’s time for Christians everywhere to return the love of our Lord to His family, the Jewish people.

WHAT IS A “NIGHT TO HONOR ISRAEL”?

A “Night To Honor Israel” is a non-conversionary salute to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people of the world. Its purpose is to promote esteem and understanding between Christians and Jews, to emphasize the things that we hold in common, not dramatize our religious differences.

"Not the same Christians: D.C. plenary to back Israel" By: David Brog JTA, July 9, 2006 Read Original Article At JTA

WASHINGTON, July 6 (JTA) Large Christian conferences have not always been good news for the Jews.

There was, for example, the Council of Oxford in 1222, which prohibited the construction of synagogues in Christian Europe. The Synod of Breslau in 1267 required Europe’s Jews to live in ghettos. The Council of Basel in 1434 barred Jews from receiving academic degrees. The list goes on.

While this outpouring of Christian support for Israel may seem laudable, many in the Jewish community will not cheer the conference. They will instead assert that what seems like support for Israel is merely a conspiracy to convert the Jews and continue the work of Christian conferences past. More specifically, they will claim that the goal of the conference and Christian Zionism in general is to reinstate the edict of the Synod of Breslau and once again place all Jews into a ghetto — one called Israel — so that Jesus can return and convert or kill the whole lot of us.

Why does this conspiracy theory have such a strong hold on the Jewish imagination? Why do thousands of Jews who have never even met an evangelical Christian or read the New Testament know with such certainty that Christians are hiding dark motives under their purported embrace of the Jews and the Jewish state?

The answer is history.

Jews are prepared to believe the worst about Christian motives because this view corresponds with everything they have learned about Jewish life in Christian lands.

For almost two thousand years, Christianity was responsible for a series of anti-Semitic atrocities from the Crusades to the Inquisitions to the countless Easter Day pogroms. And during these difficult centuries, those claiming to be the most devoted Christians were typically the ones leading the charge against the Jews. Jews have learned to equate zealous Christianity with mortal danger.

What many Jews fail to realize, however, is that there has been an epochal shift in Christian theology toward the Jews. Because of this shift, evangelical Christians in America today have nothing to do with the Christians who persecuted us in the past.

For most of Christian history, the dominant Christian theology toward the Jews was “replacement theology,” which held that when the Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah, God rejected the Jews as his chosen people. The church replaced the Jews as the “Israel” to whom so much is promised in the Bible.

Once the Jews were thus removed from God’s love, the door was opened to man’s hate. And this was a door through which generation after generation of Christians walked. The Christian conferences referenced above were the practical application of this negative theology.

But ever since the Reformation, there have been some small groups of Protestants who have rejected replacement theology and who believe — as Jews do — that the word “Israel” in the Bible means the Jews. Under this reading, the Jews continue to be the beneficiaries of God’s love and promises, and the Bible becomes an exhortation to Zionism and philo-Semitism. If the Jews are still beloved by God, then Christians wanting to do God’s will on earth will likewise want to embrace the Jews.

In early 20th-century United States, the nascent fundamentalist movement embraced this minority view and rejected replacement theology. As this movement grew and spread across the country, the number of Christians who adhered to this theology grew as well, to the point that it is the ascendant strain of American Christianity today.

Thus fundamentalist/evangelical support for Israel is not a continuation of past persecution by other means but an expression of an entirely different view of the Jews. The upcoming conference is the practical application of this new, philo-Semitic theology.

For centuries, Christians insisted on punishing Jews for the alleged sin of their ancestors in crucifying Jesus. And for centuries, Christians spoke with great certainty about the evil contents of a Talmud that they had never read.

We Jews(spiritual Jews as well), of all people, should be careful before we make presumptions about someone else’s theology or project onto such people the sins of their ancestors. As the storm clouds gather and new threats to Israel loom, we Jews should get to know our new friends before judging them. We make a mistake when we see echoes of the past in the upcoming conference of Christians United for Israel. Instead, we should see signs of a very different, and very bright, future.

David Brog, a committed Jew, is the author of the just-published book, Standing With Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State. He is also the executive director of Pastor Hagee’s group, Christians United for Israel.

CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL MEMBERSHIP UPDATE JULY 9, 2007

THE PEOPLE WHO CURE YOU WILL KILL YOU

Perhaps the most chilling detail to emerge from last week's foiled terrorist attacks in Britain was the cryptic warning an al Qaeda spokesman gave to an Anglican priest back in April. The al Qaeda spokesman warned that more attacks were on the way and that, "The people who cure you will kill you." The meaning of this message became quite clear after it emerged that all of the terrorists involved in last week's attacks were medical doctors.

It simply boggles our minds to think that a doctor, someone committed by training and profession to healing his fellow human beings, could actively seek to harm them.

In our Judeo-Christian tradition, after all, doctors not only treat all peaceful citizens, but they treat our enemies wounded on the battlefield. Israeli doctors have likewise routinely treated Arab soldiers wounded in combat. But our enemies come from a very different tradition.

We really shouldn't be surprised to learn that doctors can be terrorists. For years, Osama Bin Laden's number two, the man considered to be the tactical mastermind of Al Qaeda, has been an Egyptian physician named Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri.

Men who embrace radical jihadism, whatever their profession, have a much higher calling. And this calling is to kill infidels, whether Christian or Jew, soldier or civilian. Their radical ideology enables them to view us as something less than human, and thus open to attack.

Let us continue to cleave to the high road. Let us continue to offer mercy and healing wherever and whenever we can. But let us keep in mind that we live in a world with people who play by none of these quaint rules.

NEWS FLASH CONCERNING ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST IRAN IS BUILDING TUNNELS NEAR ITS NUCLEAR SITE

The sudden flurry of digging seen in recent satellite photos of a mountainside in central Iran might have passed for ordinary road tunneling. But the site is the back yard of Iran's most ambitious and controversial nuclear facility, leading U.S. officials and independent experts to reach another conclusion:

It appears to be the start of a major tunnel complex inside the mountain. The question is, why? Worries have been stoked by the presence nearby of fortified buildings where uranium is being processed. Those structures in turn are now being connected by roads to Iran's nuclear site at Natanz, where the country recently started production of enriched uranium in defiance of international protests.

Is Iran attempting to thwart future military strikes against its nuclear facility by placing key parts of it in underground bunkers? A tunnel complex would reduce options for a preemptive military strike to knock out Iran's nuclear program, according to U.S. officials who closely follow Iran's nuclear activities. (Joby Warrick, The Washington Post, July 9, 2007)

PALESTINIANS LAUNCH FIVE QASSAM ROCKETS INTO ISRAEL

Five Qassam rockets landed in the western Negev on Sunday, two days after Israel Defense Forces completed an operation in Gaza in which 11 militants were killed and eight rockets seized. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rockets, two of which landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev region damaging a construction site.

The other three have yet to be located. On Saturday, three Qassams landed in the western Negev, causing no injuries or damage. A reconnaissance Givati unit found eight Qassam rocket launchers on Friday, in fields on the outskirts of Beit-Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip. One of the captured launchers was armed with a rocket and ready to launch.

Meanwhile, on Friday Hamas claimed responsibility for launching two Qassam rockets against Israel. This was the first time since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip that it has officially claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks against Israel. (Amos Harel, Avi Issacharof and Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz, July 9, 2007)

ISRAEL TO RELEASE 250 FATAH PRISONERS

The cabinet approved the release of 250 Fatah security prisoners on Sunday. Those released will be members of Fatah who do not have "blood on their hands," i.e. prisoners who had not personally participated in lethal terrorist attacks.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told ministers the goodwill gesture would strengthen Palestinian moderates, including Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, encouraging them to go in the right direction, toward genuine peace talks.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter of Kadima opposed the release, saying none of the prisoner releases implemented over the past 13 years had resulted in any activity by the Palestinian Authority designed to reduce terrorism. (Mark Weiss, The Jerusalem Post, July 8, 2007)

AL-QAEDA TERRORIST DIRECTED KIDNAPPING OF BBC JOURNALIST

The mastermind behind the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, the BBC correspondent, is an experienced terrorist who fought with Al-Qaeda alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. He can be named for the first time today as Qattab al-Maqdesy, a native of Gaza who is in his late thirties. Johnston, who arrived back in Britain yesterday to be reunited with his parents in Argyll, was held for 114 days in Gaza before being freed last week. Al-Maqdesy was himself seized by Hamas, the militant Palestinian faction that controls Gaza, as part of the process that led to the BBC reporter’s release.

Unlike other foreign hostages, who were released relatively quickly, Johnston was held for almost four months by the gang, which called itself the Army of Islam. A member of the kidnap gang said last week that with Hamas threatening to attack, an order was given to kill Johnston if there was an assault.

“Until the last few minutes, one of our men with Alan had the instruction that if there was an attack, he must not think of defending himself, his duty is to kill the journalist,” said the gang member. (Marie Colvin, Sunday Times- UK, July 8, 2007)

May The God Of Israel Bless You,

David Brog Executive Director Christians United for Israel




Israel and Christians resource from Virtual Library, click here


"Standing With Israel" By: Q and A with Jamie Glazov FrontPageMagazine.com, May 31, 2006

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is David Brog, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He practiced corporate law in Philadelphia and Israel. He worked on Capitol Hill for seven years, rising to be chief of staff to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and staff director of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is the author of the new book Standing With Israel, an examination of evangelical Christian support for Israel.

FP: David Brog, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Brog: Thank you very much for having me.

FP: What inspired you to write this book?

Brog: My curiosity about the topic of Christian Zionism stemmed from my years working on Capitol Hill. During this period, I was privileged to meet a number of Christian Zionists who impressed me by their devotion and their apparent love for the Jewish people. If there is one great theme to Jewish history, it is our lonely walk through the centuries. The Jews have known no great allies, no stalwart friends – we have lived and died facing a hostile world alone. Thus I found it intriguing to think that, finally, we had some very big friends standing on our side.

Yet the media told me not to get my hopes up. Television, newspapers and magazines all informed me that Christian Zionists were not real friends of the Jews, but enemies in disguise who support out of a sick desire to see the Jews killed or converted at the End of Days. I started researching this book in a simple quest to discover the truth, to see if these purported friends were what they claimed to be.

What I learned in the course of my research far surpassed what I had expected to find. I became convinced that the evangelical Christians today are nothing less than the theological heirs of the religious righteous Gentiles who sought to save Jews from the Holocaust. I decided that this was a story that needed to be told.

FP: Tell us what Christian Zionism is. Why do certain evangelicals support Israel so strongly?

Brog: “Christian Zionism” is a devotion to a Jewish state that is widespread and growing in the Christian world. And this devotion is the direct result of Christian theology. These theological roots come as a surprise to many, since Christian theology has typically not been very friendly to the Jews or their dreams of a state in their ancient homeland. But during the course of the 20th century there was a revolution in Christian theology towards the Jews which has dramatically changed the way that many Christians feel towards the Jewish people in general and Israel in particular.

To briefly summarize, for most of Christian history the dominant Christian theology towards the Jews was “replacement theology,” which held that when the Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah, God rejected the Jews as his chosen people. The Church replaced the Jews as the “Israel” to whom so much is promised in the Bible. Once the Jews were thus removed from God’s love, the door was opened to man’s hate. And this was a door through which generation after generation of Christians walked.

But ever since the Reformation, there have been some small groups of Protestants who have rejected replacement theology and who believe – as Jews do -- that the word “Israel” in the Bible means the Jews. Under this reading, the Jews are still the chosen people, they are still in covenant with and beloved by God, and they are still the rightful heirs of the land of Israel. Christians who read their Bible this way tend to reject anti-Semitism and embrace both the Jewish people and their national aspirations.

In early twentieth century America, the nascent fundamentalist movement embraced this minority view and rejected replacement theology. As the fundamentalist movement grew and spread throughout America, the number of adherents of this positive theology towards the Jews grew as well, to the point that it is the ascendant strain of American Christianity today. Thus fundamentalist/evangelical support for Israel is not a trend, fad, or public relations ploy -- it is a bedrock religious belief. It is hard to find this kind of support that is more deeply rooted.

It is also important to add that, after the Holocaust, the Roman Catholic Church and most mainline Protestant denominations recognized the danger of replacement theology and formally rejected it. But replacement theology under new names and guises is still out there, and it still does theological combat with the more Judeo-centric interpretation that drives the Christian Zionists.

FP: What exactly does it mean that the Jews are God’s “chosen” people? And if they are the “rightful” heirs to the land of Israel, then what does this mean exactly in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the different possible solutions, peace formulas etc? What I mean here is that, according to those who believe in these religious themes, is there something that God Himself is actually against?

Brog: Religious concepts can be interpreted and applied in myriad different ways. Thus devout Jews reading the same Torah can come to radically different conclusions about the proper course for their State. Some orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist and believe that the State of Israel should not exist until the Messiah comes.

Others are Zionists but believe that the positive commandment to save lives takes priority over the commandment to possess the Land and would therefore support certain territorial concessions. Others are territorial maximalists and do not want to give up one inch.

The same diversity of views can be found among evangelical Christians. While the majority of Christian Zionists – like the majority of Orthodox Jews -- oppose territorial concessions, the extent of this opposition varies. Some Christians emphasize the commandment to possess the Land and would likely oppose territorial concessions under any circumstance.

But most recognize competing theological imperatives and express a more conditional opposition. They tend to argue that territorial concessions are a mistake because of present circumstances – i.e. Arafat was not a real partner for peace, and Hamas is certainly not a partner for peace. Under more auspicious circumstances, you would likely see a different reaction.

FP: Thank you. But sorry, once again, what exactly does it mean that the Jews are God’s “chosen” people? Does God actually choose certain people over others in terms of them being his “favorites” etc?

Brog: The term “chosen people” has been among the most misunderstood and mischaracterized in the history of the Western world. It is often assumed that the Jews who believe themselves to be the chosen people actually think that they are God’s favorites, better than others, a superior race. This simply isn’t true. On the contrary, it’s hard to find people who reject the idea of a superior race more strongly than do the Jews.

The Jewish concept of being “chosen” simply means that God chose the Jews as the people through which he would teach the world. By giving the Jews His laws and thus instructing the Jews how to live, God hoped to create an example – a light unto the nations –that would persuade all of humanity to likewise live in accordance with God’s laws.

Jews do not believe that God chose us because we are somehow better or smarter than anyone else – this would have defeated His purpose of instructing all of humanity. According to Jewish lore, the only thing that distinguished us from the other nations was our willingness to engage in the experiment. As we Jews often joke, God might have had an easier time of it had he chosen someone else for this task.

FP: Why do many Jews dislike/fear Christian Zionists?

Brog: The long sweep of Jewish history has taught Jews to fear robust Christianity. For almost two thousand years, the Church was responsible for a long series of anti-Semitic atrocities from the Crusades to the Inquisitions to the countless Easter Day pogroms.

And during these difficult centuries, those claiming to be the most devoted Christians were typically the ones leading the charge against the Jews. So Jews learned to equate zealous Christianity with mortal danger. This lesson is so ingrained in the Jewish psyche that it will not easily be removed.

What many Jews fail to realize, however, is that there has been an epochal shift in Christian theology towards Jews. As described above, those Christians who taught replacement theology and persecuted Jews have, in America, been eclipsed by Christians who embrace the Jews as the elect of God. Along with this shift of Christian theology, there has been a concomitant shift in the effect that devotion to this theology has on the believer. Thus the ancient lesson has been turned on its head. In America today, the more robust the Christian, the more likely they are to embrace the Jews and their State of Israel.

FP: If these Christians who embrace the Jews are Christians, then they believe in Jesus being the Messiah, a concept that Jews reject. How do Christians reconcile the Jews’ rejection of Jesus and their (the Christians’) simultaneous embrace of the Jews?

Brog: It’s possible to love and respect people even if you have a theological difference with them. Christian Zionists tend to view Jews the same way that a newly orthodox Jew views his secular parents. He loves his parents and honors them in accordance with the Fifth Commandment.

But at the same time he disagrees with them theologically, wishes that they would embrace his religious views, and won’t eat off of their china. The theological differences are real and important, but they are overshadowed by love.

In addition, it’s important to note that Christian Zionism has been greatly influenced by dispensationalism, a theology which has reconciled the ongoing election of the Jews with their rejection of Jesus. Dispensationalists believe that God works with mankind through different frameworks or “dispensations.”

When humanity fails a certain test – such as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden or all of humanity at the time of Noah – God reacts by starting a new dispensation. When the Jews failed to recognize Jesus as Messiah, God stopped his prophetic time clock, moved the Jews offstage, and began a new dispensation in which he worked through the Church to instruct humanity.

But once the Church has fulfilled its role, God will start his time clock again and return to his original plan of instructing humanity through the Jews. The benefit of this theology is that election ceases to be a zero-sum game – both the Jews and the Church can be God’s elect, and each has a central role to play in God’s plan for humanity.

FP: Are we at the moment witnessing the beginning of a Christian/Jewish reconciliation?

Brog: Absolutely. And it’s about time.

Christianity, of course, started out as a form of Judaism. None of the early Christians believed they were starting a new religion. They simply thought that they were adapting Judaism to their belief that the Jewish messiah had come. They expected converts to their faith to be circumcised and to observe the Jewish Sabbath and dietary laws. But, as described above, the nascent Church soon embraced a theology toward the Jews – replacement theology – which created a great chasm between Jews and Christians and lead to centuries of horrific anti-Semitism.

Today, with the growing rejection of replacement theology in the Christian world, the door is finally open to a Christian-Jewish reconciliation. It will take the Jews some time to walk through the door. After all, for so many centuries what lurked on the other side was anything but a warm embrace. But as trust continues to replace fear, the pace of reconciliation will quicken. With mutual respect, Jews and Christians will once again stress everything we share – which is enormous – rather than continuing to focus on what separates us.

World events are speeding this reconciliation. There is nothing like a shared enemy to make people realize how very much they have in common. The greatest external threat to both Jews and Christians today is from radical Islamic terror. And there is a wide gulf that separates Jews and Christians from these radical Muslims who share none of our basic morals or values. As we stand side by side in defense of Israel, the United States and Judeo-Christian civilization, Jews and Christians will turn towards one another and realize that what separates us is very small indeed.

FP: David Brog, thank you for joining us.

Brog: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this important topic.

© 2006 by David Brog. All rights reserved.

"Jews And Evangelicals Together: Why some Christians are pro-Israel" By: Q and A with Kathryn Jean Lopez National Review Online, May 22, 2006

David Brog is author of Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State. A former chief of staff to Pennsylvania Republican senator Arlen Specter, Brog explains that “the evangelical Christians who support the Jews today are nothing less than the theological heirs of the righteous Gentiles who sought to save Jews from the Holocaust.”

Brog recently discussed the book with National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Which Christians in the U.S. are most Zionist and why?

David Brog: The evangelicals. No contest. Their Zionism comes directly from their theology. But, as opposed to what most people think, this theology is driven by the biblical promises of the Book of Genesis, not the biblical prophecies of the Book of Revelations.

Lopez: Was there an event that made this alliance stronger? Has it always been under the radar?

Brog: Evangelical Christians largely shunned politics until the late 1970s, when Jerry Falwell created the Moral Majority and led them back onto the political playing field. Jews were among the priorities of the Christian Right from the start. In fact, when Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority he made support one of the group’s four organizing principles along with the issue of abortion, traditional marriage, and a strong U.S. defense.

While the Jews were always important to evangelicals, a recent event did make them even more of a priority. On September 11, 2001, evangelicals recognized along with many other Americans that radical Islam was the greatest threat facing our country and that we were in a war with its proponents. And in this war, the Jews are seen as an ally and as the first line of defense of Judeo-Christian civilization. Support for this embattled ally has moved to center stage.

Lopez: Evangelicals who support the Jews really don't want to convert people?

Brog: Evangelicals who support the Jews most certainly do want to convert people. Evangelicals who don’t support Israel also want to convert people. The mission of sharing the “good news” of Jesus Christ is central to being an evangelical. But it is important to note that this is not about converting just the Jews—Christians want to share their faith with Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and their Christian friends and neighbors who have yet to be born again.

The important question is this: Is evangelical support merely a tool in the effort to convert the Jews? Is this merely some scheme to soften the Jews up so that they can better sell Jesus to them? And the answer to this question is absolutely not.

If anything, the opposite it true. I and others who have worked with Christians in support of Jews all report that no one has ever tried to convert us. In fact, Christians who support the Jews tend to know more Jews and to understand their sensitivities better than Christians who do not. Thus, they have learned that Jews find “Jesus talk” offensive, and they tend to leave it out of the dialogue.

Lopez: What is replacement theology and where did it go?

Brog: For most of Christian history, the dominant Christian theology towards the Jews was “replacement theology,” which held that when the Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah, God rejected the Jews as his chosen people. The Church replaced the Jews as the “Israel” to whom so much is promised in the Bible. Once the Jews were thus removed from God’s love, the door was opened to man’s hate. And this was a door through which generation after generation of Christians walked.

But ever since the Reformation, there have been some small groups of Protestants who have rejected replacement theology and who believe—as Jews do—that the word “Israel” in the Bible means the Jews. Under this reading, the Jews continue to be the beneficiaries of God’s love and promises, and the Bible becomes an exhortation to Zionism and philo-Semitism.

In early 20th-century America, the nascent fundamentalist movement embraced this minority view and rejected replacement theology. As this movement grew and spread throughout America, the number of Christians who adhered to this theology grew as well, to the point that it is the ascendant strain of American Christianity today. Thus fundamentalist/evangelical support for Jews is not a trend, fad, or public relations ploy — it is a bedrock religious belief.

It is also important to add that, after the Holocaust, the Roman Catholic Church and most mainline Protestant denominations recognized the danger of replacement theology and formally rejected it. But replacement theology under new names and guises is still out there, and it still does theological combat with the more Judeo-centric interpretation that drives the Christian Zionists.

Lopez: Beyond politics, what good stuff do Christian Zionists do for the Jews?

Brog: They do lots of good stuff. For starters, Christians give millions of dollars to Israel and Jewish causes every year. These funds support a variety of missions, including:

The cost of transporting poor Jews from the former Soviet Union, Argentina and Ethiopia to live in Israel. Supporting poor Jews who stay behind in these countries. Supporting disadvantaged Jews and terror victims.

Beyond giving money, Christians also volunteer their time. Christian Zionists can be found throughout the former Soviet Union, teaching Jews about the opportunities and assistance available to them. Many Christian volunteers also go to Israel, where they contribute to the society by operating food banks, homeless shelters, and providing health and repair services to those in need.

Lopez: How widespread is a Jewish suspicion of Christian Zionists?

Brog: As widespread as falafel stands in Tel Aviv. Jews tend not to know very much about Christian theology or Christian history. As a result, they tend to lump all Christians together and hold them equally responsible for the anti-Semitic atrocities committed by Christians in the past. If more Jews understood the profound theological differences between evangelical Christians in America today and the Christians of Europe in prior centuries, I think they would be more open to an alliance.

Lopez: The ADL doesn't seem to get what is going on vis-à-vis Christian Zionists, does it?

Brog: Not lately. There was a period in the late 1990’s when Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s executive director, was saying very positive thing about Christian Zionists. He invited Ralph Reed to address an ADL dinner, and he even paid to reprint one of Reed’s pro-Israel articles in major newspapers. Yet lately, Foxman has been sounding like his old self on this issue. Late last year he claimed that evangelical Christians are the greatest domestic threat to the Jews. I wish we lived in a world where law abiding, patriotic, and philo-Semitic Christians were our biggest worry.

Lopez: Are Christian Zionists mostly conservative? Are Jews mostly liberal? Does that make matters weirder?

Brog: Yes, yes and yes. There is no doubt that one of the major stumbling blocks to a warmer evangelical-Jewish embrace is the fact that these communities tend to differ on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage (except for orthodox Jews, who tend to share the evangelicals’ opposition to both). Yet these differences need not be a stumbling block.

There are hundreds of political coalitions out there, and what characterizes every last one of them is not that the member organizations agree on every issue, but that they agree on at least one issue—the issue that brought them to form a coalition in the first place.

I think certain die-hard liberals in the Jewish community need to get over their belief that people who disagree with them on abortion or gay marriage are somehow beyond the pale of civil discourse. Reasonable people can and do differ on these issues.

Lopez: Who were the Ten Booms and how are they relevant today?

Brog: The Ten Booms were a family of devout Christians living in Holland during World War II. When the Germans occupied their city and began rounding up the Jews, the Ten Booms organized an underground railroad, hiding Jews in their home and then leading them under cover or darkness to hiding places that other like-minded Christians ran in the countryside. At the time of their arrest by the Nazis in 1944, the ten Boom family had organized a network of more than eighty volunteers who had rescued more than seven hundred Jews.

The ten Boom family paid dearly for its heroism. Casper ten Boom, the family patriarch, became sick in prison and died within days of his arrest. Both his daughter Betsie and his grandson Kirk died in Nazi concentration camps. His son Willem ten Boom survived the concentration camps but emerged terribly ill and died shortly thereafter. Casper’s daughter Corrie ten Boom survived the concentration camps and spent the rest of her life sharing her family’s faith and story.

The ten Booms are highly relevant today because they demonstrate the sincerity and depth of the evangelical commitment to the Jewish people. The ten Booms were explicit in their rejection of replacement theology. And they were explicit in their love for the Jews. They risked (and lost) their lives to save Jews because of this Christian faith, not despite it.

There is a direct theological line from the Ten Booms to the Christian Zionists of today. While Jews no longer need to be hidden in Jewish homes, we do need Christian support in confronting new threats such as those from Iran and Hamas. We should embrace these modern-day righteous gentiles and work with them to defend Israel.

Lopez: How are Christian Zionists obsessed with the Holocaust?

Brog: When it comes to the Holocaust, Christian Zionists remind me of Jews. The Holocaust is the point of reference, the great calamity against which all actions and threats are judged. Yet the obsession may even be greater among certain Christians because they feel guilty about the fact that people claiming to share their faith permitted this atrocity. Thus they seize every opportunity to stand up for the Jews and in so doing demonstrate how true Christians behave.

A longing to make amends for the Holocaust often figures prominently in Christian Zionist speeches and fundraising literature. And the desire not to permit a second Holocaust drives their mounting alarm over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. No other community — with the possible exception of the Jews themselves — stresses the parallels between Hitler in the 1930s and Iran’s President Ahmadinejad today as do the evangelicals.

Lopez: You defend Pat Robertson. Why bother?

Brog: Because Pat Robertson is a good man. Because he has served America and Jews admirably over a long career. Shame on us if we let the mainstream media decide for us whom to honor and whom to cast aside.

Does Pat Robertson say some regrettable things? Sure. Does he apologize for these statements? Yes. Should the occasional inappropriate comment lead us to forget all he has done for the Jews? I certainly hope not. Time after time Pat Robertson has thrown his significant political support behind Israel. He has visited there so many times he has lost count. And Robertson runs a major Christian university (Regent University), where he teaches the next generation of Christian leaders to support the Jewish nation. We should stand by our friends even when they err.

Lopez: Are there any prominent Christians you would not defend on anti-Semitism charges?

Brog: Where do I begin? David Duke. David Irving. Half of Europe. But when it comes to evangelical Christians, I’m not aware of any prominent anti-Semites. I think the two are incompatible.

Lopez: Do you think you needlessly look too hard for specifically Christian reasons for the president, the secretary of State and others to support Israel? Doesn't it just make good geopolitical sense?

Brog: I’m very careful in my book to state that the president has a number of strong political and geopolitical motives for supporting Israel, and that no one really knows the role that religion plays in his thinking.

That being said, however, there is definitely reason to believe that Bush’s faith does affect administration policy, both foreign and domestic. Look at the major difference between the way this President Bush treats Israel and the way his father did. Have the geopolitics really changed so much since Bush 41 left the White House? No. Has the religious orientation of the president changed? You bet.

Lopez: Speaking of Christians and conservatives…Arlen Specter gets juiced by criticism from the Right, doesn't he?

Brog: He’s not terribly fond of criticism from anyone.

Lopez: Whom do you want to read your book?

Brog: I want Jews to read my book so that they will get over their fears of evangelicals and embrace our friends. I want Christians to read my book so that they will understand both the imperatives of supporting the Jews and the wary reaction they will receive from the Jewish community. And I want people who are interested in politics and foreign policy to read my book so that they can better comprehend the birth pangs of what in time will be a very important alliance.

Sound the Shofar! (Trumpet)...A Feast!

Overview: The High Holiday Period

Although the High Holidays themselves--the two days of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)--occupy three days only, they lie within a web of liturgy and customs that extend from the beginning of the preceding Hebrew month of Elul through Yom Kippur.

The focus of this entire period is the process of teshuvah, or repentance, whereby a Jew admits to sins, asks for forgiveness, and resolves not to repeat the sins. Recognizing the psychological difficulty of self-examination and personal change, the rabbis instituted a 40-day period whose intensity spirals toward its culmination on Yom Kippur, a day devoted entirely to fasting and repentance.The High Holiday period begins on the first day of the Jewish month of Elul.

In the Ashkenazi tradition, during this month of soul searching, the shofar, or ram’s horn, is blown each morning except on the Sabbath, to call upon listeners to begin the difficult process of repentance. Also in Elul special haftarot--prophetic portions--focusing on consolation acknowledge the vulnerability of an individual grappling with personal change.

During the week before Rosh Hashanah, intensity increases as traditional Jews begin reciting selichot, prayers that involve confessing sins and requesting God’s forgiveness and help. On the Sabbath before Rosh Hashanah, the selichot are chanted at midnight, rather than their usual early morning hour.

The culmination of the High Holiday period occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance, which begin on 1 Tishri with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. During this period, human beings have the chance to tip the scales of divine judgment in their favor through repentance, prayer, and tzedakah (performing righteous deeds and giving money to charitable causes).

Not only is Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year, which commemorates God’s creation of the world, but also the Day of Judgment, when God remembers and judges all human deeds. Except on Shabbat, services are punctuated with the call of the shofar, which according to Maimonides, is saying, “Awake, you sleepers, from your slumber…examine your deeds, return in repentance, and remember your Creator.” Human beings are believed to be in mortal danger at this time, with their lives hinging on the decision to repent.

Only those who choose to forego sin are inscribed in the symbolic “book of life” that is a central liturgical image of Rosh Hashanah. On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the theological bent of the morning services is reinforced in a concrete way during the Tashlikh ceremony, during which individuals symbolically cast away their personal sins by throwing breadcrumbs into a flowing body of water.

This action is accompanied by the recitation of biblical verses that evoke the human capacity for repentance and the beneficence of Divine forgiveness through the metaphor of casting sins into depths of the waters.

The Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return, or Repentance, after a verse from the haftarah declaring “Return O Israel to the Lord, your God” (Hosea 14:2).

The transition to Yom Kippur begins the in the hours preceding the evening onset of the festival with the recitation of the first vidui, or communal confession of sins, at the afternoon service. Some Jews choose to go to the mikveh, or ritual bath, to purify themselves before the holiday. The striving toward inner purity is also reflected in the white outfits traditional for the day. In traditional congregations, men will don a white robe called a kittel over their holiday clothes.

In some liberal congregation, both men and women might choose to wear white garments to symbolize this quest for spiritual purity. Within the Ten Days of Repentance, Yom Kippur is the pinnacle of intensity, moving toward the decisive moment at its close when God is imagined as sealing the books of life and death.

The day’s total focus on spiritual concerns is exemplified by fasting and abstaining from everyday activities such as bathing, sexual relations, and the wearing of leather shoes.

The liturgical day of Yom Kippur, known as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, begins with the Kol nidre service immediately prior to sunset. The heartrending poems and prayers of the Machzor, the prayer book used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which express the themes of repentance, human frailty, and humility before God, combine with the nusach, or musical style of the service, to express the momentousness of the day.

Liturgical elements that distinguish the Yom Kippur services include a recounting of the Temple service on Yom Kippur, a description of the suffering of rabbis martyred by the Romans, and the reading of the Book of Jonah. The day closes with the Neilah service, during which penitents pray before the open ark, with one last chance to repent before the book of Life is sealed.

The very name of the service, Neilah (locking) refers to the imagery that the gates of repentance, open during the High Holidays, are now shutting. A lengthy sounding of the shofar, called a tekiah gedolah, releases the Jew back into the realm of the everyday bolstered by a final echo of the call to repentance.

UPDATE PASTOR HAGEE'S SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK: Nehemiah 4:6 and 4:15-20

The associated Press recently reported that a wall mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah and long sought by archaeologists has been found. A team led by Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, discovered the wall in Jerusalem's ancient City of David.

Artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of Nehemiah. The findings suggest that the structure was actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt. The Book of Nehemiah gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.

"We were amazed," Mazer said, noting that the discovery was made at a time when many scholars argued that the wall did not exist.” This was a great surprise. It was something we didn't plan." The first phase of the dig, completed in 2005, uncovered what Mazar believes to be the remains of King David's palace, built by King Hiram of Tyre, and mentioned in the Bible.

Why this find, why now and why are people amazed?

When Sanballat heard that Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall, he became angry and he ridiculed the Jews... “Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?"

What was Nehemiah’s response? He prayed to God and continued his work. “So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” Nehemiah 4:6

He encouraged his people to continue to work on behalf of the Lord and his beloved Jerusalem. “When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work...Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!" Nehemiah 4:15-20

I want to encourage each and every one of you who is working tirelessly for Christians United for Israel on “the wall” to hear the words of Nehemiah... “Our God will fight for us!”

I know that many of you are in the battle! The battle is the Lord’s and has already been won! Shout the victory! May God bless you in your labors for His Kingdom.

CUFI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DAVID BROG'S WEEKLY MESSAGE: CUFI Goes to the White House

On Monday, November 26th, Gary Bauer and I represented Christians United for Israel at a meeting with President Bush's National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, and other senior Administration officials. We were glad that Mr. Hadley was willing to listen to the concerns that we and some Jewish representatives had about the Annapolis Peace Summit. We also appreciated the fact that Mr. Hadley made time available to us the very night that the Summit was beginning, shortly before he had to go to the opening dinner.

Speaking for CUFI, we told the National Security Adviser that we were worried that Palestinian President Abbas lacks both the will and the ability to stop terrorism against Israel from territory under his control. In the absence of such prerequisites, we stated, concessions on the West Bank were likely to produce the same results as the withdrawal from Gaza: increased terror. We stressed that we and our membership do not want the Administration to pressure the Jews into making territorial concessions at this juncture.

DAVID BROG'S NIGHT TO HONOR ISRAEL REPORT

Des Moines, Iowa- November 29, 2007

Last Thursday Night, I had the pleasure of attending and addressing the first Night to Honor Israel in Des Moines, Iowa. Over 300 people passed up opportunities to meet with various presidential candidates and came instead to the Des Moines First Assembly of God to show their support for Israel and the Jewish people. It was a very cold Iowa night, but the enthusiasm and commitment of this hearty bunch was heartwarming. Funds were raised for the Western Galilee Hospital, which was damaged in the 2006 war with Hezbollah.

This event was the result of a wonderful collaboration between the Jewish and Christian communities in Des Moines. In particular, David Young, Chief of Staff to Senator Charles Grassley, and Bud Hockenberg, a Des Moines attorney, joined forces to push this event forward. Pastor David Beroth and Pastor Steve Beeman opened their church to us and warmly embraced the event. And CUFI Iowa State Director Tom McGovern helped the local team along every step of the way. Congratulations to Tom McGovern for two great Nights to Honor Israel in as many months.

ISRAEL AND MIDDLE EAST NEWS

Israel frees 429 Palestinian prisoners 429 Palestinian prisoners, a gesture meant to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were released on Monday. The release was originally planned to take place ahead of last week's Annapolis conference but for various reasons, including a request by Abbas, it was delayed. The Prisons Service (IPS) said 408 Palestinians were transported to the West Bank and 21 to Gaza.

All those released were sentenced to up to ten years for committing security offenses. About 9,000 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israel. Abbas had asked that 2,000 prisoners be freed, but Israel refused. Including the prisoners released on Monday, about 770 Palestinians have been freed since July. (The Jerusalem Post, December 3, 2007)

Iranian Pushes Nuclear Talks Back to Square 1

In a sign that Iran has hardened its position on its nuclear program, its new nuclear negotiator said in talks in London on Friday that all proposals made in past negotiations were irrelevant and that further discussion of a curb on Iran’s uranium enrichment was unnecessary. The London meeting was the first time that Mr. Jalili, a close ally of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had led negotiations on the Iranian side.

His performance made clear that he brings a very different style and approach from that of his predecessor, Ali Larijani, who had taken a tough line but had shown a willingness to engage substantively on the nuclear issue. The first hour and a half of the meeting on Friday was described as a monologue, with Mr. Jalili speaking about the will of the Iranian people to support uranium enrichment, theology, God, even his doctoral thesis, according to several officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under normal diplomatic rules.

“Jalili said, ‘Everything in the past is past, and with me, you start over,’” an official said. “He said, ‘None of your proposals has any standing.’” The hard-line position from the Iranian side was clear confirmation that Iran would not compromise on this issue, the French official said, adding, “We have in front of us the real Iran.” An official involved in the talks put it even more bluntly, saying, “We can’t do business with these guys at this point.” (Elaine Sciolino, The New York Times, December 2, 2007)

Israeli PM won't commit to Annapolis timetable

Five days after pledging in Annapolis to try to wrap up an agreement with the Palestinians by the end of 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the cabinet on Sunday that there was no Jewish commitment to any timetable. "An effort will be made to hold accelerated negotiations in the hope that it will be possible to conclude them in 2008," Olmert said at the weekly meeting.

"However, there is no commitment to a specific timetable regarding these negotiations." Both Livni and Olmert said that from Israel's point of view, the most important aspect of the understanding was that any future agreement would only be implemented after the Palestinians fulfilled their security requirements under the road map. (Herb Keinon, The Jerusalem Post, December 3, 2007)

Palestinian Authority to request $5.5 billion in aid President Mahmoud Abbas's government will ask donors in Paris this month to provide $5.5 billion in aid to strengthen the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The aid, to be used for budgetary support and development, is meant to strengthen Abbas against Hamas Islamists and revive the Palestinian economy after the president launched formal peace talks. The conference is the first forum for international donor states to make pledges to the Palestinian Authority since 1996, officials said. "Twenty-six percent of the plan's budget will go to reforms, such as reforming the security services, judicial system and other governance sectors. Twenty-one percent is allocated for the economic sector and 23 percent for the infrastructure," a senior official said. (Reuters, December 3, 2007)

Mortar attack on IDF base Negev Israel

Four soldiers were lightly injured Sunday evening from a mortar hit on an infirmary in an IDF base adjoining Kibbutz Nahal Oz, next to the Gaza Strip. Around 15 mortars have been fired thus far Sunday from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. There were between 5-8 mortars in the barrage that hit the base, one of which hit the base infirmary in which four soldiers had sought shelter.

Earlier, a barrage of more than 10 mortars were fired toward the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Three mortars landed in a kibbutz, while the rest landed in open fields near the Gaza border fence. Also on Sunday, a Qassam rocket landed in an open field near Sderot. In the past week, dozens of mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip. Last Friday five mortars landed near the border fence. Two days earlier, seven mortars were fired from the Strip and landed in open field. On Wednesday the Israeli Air Force attacked a Hamas post in southern Gaza, killing two militants. (Efrat Weiss, Ynet News, December 3, 2007)

Blessings to you and those you love,

Pastor John Hagee National Chairman Christians United for Israel

David Brog Executive Director Christians United for Israel

UPDATE: January, 2008

Islamists planned attacks across Europe

Islamist extremists were planning attacks across Europe, especially against public transport, before their arrests in Barcelona last weekend, a Spanish paper reported on Saturday, citing a would-be attacker's testimony. The Al Qaeda-inspired cell planned to attack the Barcelona metro and other targets in Spain, Germany, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom, said the bomber turned police informant. (Andrew Hay; Reuters, January 26, 2008)

Barak: Iran Nuclear Program "Quite Advanced"

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview: "Clearly the Iranians are aiming at nuclear capability....We think that they are quite advanced, much beyond the level of the Manhattan Project. We suspect they are probably already working on warheads for ground-to-ground missiles...[and] that probably they have another clandestine enrichment operation beyond the one in Natanz."

Regarding Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, "There has never been a shortage of goodwill on Israel's side. What we have found is that the Palestinian side is unable to live up to the most basic commitments; stopping indiscriminate terror against our civilians." (Lally Weymouth. Washington Post, January 26, 2008)

Officials: The Jews won't let Gaza border breach threaten security

The Jews will not tolerate the continued threat to its security posed by Hamas militants' breach of the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt, officials in Jerusalem told Haaretz on Sunday. The officials added that Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas see eye to eye on what they perceive as the need to refrain from negotiations with Hamas.

Hamas' dramatic border breach was the focus of the meeting between Olmert and Abbas at the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem. The prime minister assured Abbas that Israel would not cut off the supply of food and medicine to the Gaza Strip. (By Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid, Haaretz, January 28, 2008)

Al-Qaeda "Strapping Bombs to Children" in Iraq

Al-Qaeda is using teenagers as suicide bombers in Iraq, a US military spokesman claimed on Sunday, as an influential Sunni cleric urged the jihadists to stop "strapping bombs to children." Rear Admiral Gregory Smith told a news conference in Baghdad that two suicide attacks in Iraq in the past week had been carried out by 15-year-olds.

"We are not sure whether one of these children even knew he was being used to deliver a bomb," the US military spokesman said. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq is trying to brainwash children with hate and death... they seek to create a culture of violence, hate and despair," said Smith. "(They) are sending 15-year-old boys on suicide missions to spread death and helplessness." (Bryan Pearson, AFP, January 27, 2008).

Gaza fuel supplies being restored

Israel will resume the supply of industrial-use diesel to the Gaza Strip according to levels set prior to the blockade imposed earlier this month in order to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the civilian population, the state told the High Court of Justice on Sunday. The state told the court that if rocket attacks increase again, Jews will consider limiting the supplies once again. (Etgar Lefkovits , The Jerusalem Post, January 27, 2008).

UPDATE: February 17, 2008

'Cancerous Israel to vanish soon'

"The cancerous growth Israel will soon disappear," Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Muhammad Ali Jafari wrote to Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the FARS news agency reported Monday.

In a letter of condolences following last week's assassination of Hizbullah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, Jafari said: "I am convinced that with every passing day Hizbullah's might is increasing and in the near future, we will witness the disappearance of this cancerous growth of the Jews by means of the Hizbullah fighters' radiation [therapy]."

In the letter, in which Jafari consoled Nasrallah over the death of the "martyr," he continued: "There's no doubt that the death of this loyal fighter will strengthen the resolve of all revolutionary Muslims and fighters in the struggle against the Zionist regime, particularly the resolve of those who fought by this martyr's side." (Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2008)

Gunmen destroy Gaza Strip's YMCA library, kidnap guards Unidentified gunmen blew up the YMCA library in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning. The sources said at least 12 gunmen participated in the assault, the latest in a series of attacks on Christian figures and institutions. "The attackers kidnapped the two guards before they stormed the building in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City," the sources said.

"Then they entered the library, where they detonated a number of explosive charges, causing heavy damage." Issa Saba, secretary-general of the YMCA in the Gaza Strip, said all 8,000 books were destroyed. He said the gunmen also stole a vehicle belonging to the organization. Several al-Qaida-affiliated groups in the Gaza Strip have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Christian figures and institutions over the past two years. The groups said they would continue their attacks until all 3,000 Christians had left the Gaza Strip. (Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, February 17, 2008)

McConnell: Hezbollah Threat 'Serious'

The U.S. intelligence chief said Sunday that internal Hezbollah groups or Syria may be to blame for the killing of a Hezbollah commander that has led the FBI to put domestic terror squads on alert in the United States. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said the United States is still reviewing the case following the death last Tuesday of commander Imad Mughniyeh. Hezbollah blamed the Jews and has pledged to attack Jewish targets worldwide in retaliation. That led the FBI last week to be vigilant for possible threats in the U.S. against synagogues and other potential Jewish targets.

On other matters, McConnell: Contended that the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons has not changed much despite a U.S. intelligence report released in December that concluded Tehran halted its nuclear weapons ambitions in 2003. McConnell said Iran had terminated one aspect of a technical design but "they could have turned it back on now and we wouldn't necessarily know." (Hope Yen, AP, February 18, 2008)

Qassam fire at Israel renewed

Following day a of relative calm in the south, Palestinian terrorists renewed the Qassam attacks on Saturday, firing eight rockets at western Negev communities during the morning and afternoon hours. At least two more rockets were fired later in the evening and landed near a southern kibbutz. On Thursday, gunmen fired 11 Qassams, one of which landed in the yard of home in the Netiv Haasara community, causing some damage to nearby buildings. Another rocket hit a hothouse in the community, likewise damaging the structure. (Yonat Atlas , YNet News)

Blessings to you and those you love,

Pastor John Hagee National Chairman Christians United for Israel

David Brog Executive Director Christians United for Israel

UPDATE: March 10, 2008

It’s happened again. Once again innocent blood has been spilled in Jerusalem. Once again the sound of wailing echoes across this holy city. Once again parents must recite the Kadish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, over their dead children, their words barely audible above the sobbing.

On Thursday, a Palestinian terrorist walked into a Jewish religious school and opened fire on students in the midst of studying the Torah. He killed eight students and wounded nine more. All of the dead and injured were in high school.

Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Amar, eulogized the dead with the words of the Song of Songs, calling them the “the roses that have been picked.” And they were indeed the flower of Israel’s youth. They were at the top of their class. They were future leaders. They had all dedicated their young lives to studying Torah, worshiping God, and building the Jewish State.

Hamas wages Iran’s proxy war

A Hamas leader admits hundreds of his fighters have travelled to Tehran. The Jews have long insisted that Iran is behind the training of Hamas forces in Gaza. A senior Hamas commander confirmed for the first time that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been training its men in Tehran for more than two years and is currently honing the skills of 150 fighters.

The commander said Hamas had been sending fighters to Iran for training in both field tactics and weapons technology since Israeli troops pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Others go to Syria for more basic training. "We have sent seven 'courses' of our fighters to Iran," he said.

They first traveled to Egypt, flew to Syria, and then to Tehran. According to the commander, a further 650 Hamas fighters have trained in Syria under instructors who learned their techniques in Iran. Sixty-two are in Syria now. He said the Hamas military, which numbers about 15,000 fighters, was modeling itself on Hizbullah. (Marie Colvin Sunday Times-UK, March 9, 2008)

Fatah group hails 'heroic' Jerusalem attack

Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday welcomed the killing of the eight yeshiva students in Jerusalem and lashed out at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for condemning the shooting attack. Expressing its full support for the attack, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades described it as an "heroic" operation that came in response to "Israeli atrocities." The group also called for carrying out more attacks. (Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2008)

Bounty placed on Israel’s Defense Minster

A radical Iranian student group placed a $400,000 bounty on Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It also placed $300,000 bounties each for the killing of two other senior members of the Israeli security establishment, Mossad chief Meir Dagan and the head of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin. The organization has asked supporters to donate a kidney to increase the bounties. (The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 10, 2008)

Arab leader denies temple ever existed

The al-Aqsa mosque was never the site of a Jewish temple, Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, said Monday during a press conference he convened in Jerusalem. "The claims of the Jews are big lies and they have no right to any speck of dust here," he said.

In January, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz filed an indictment against Salah, charging him with incitement to violence and racism in a speech he made last year protesting the archeological dig carried out at the Old City's Mughrabi Gate. During his sermon in Jerusalem's Wadi Joz neighborhood on February 16 of last year, Salah urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to "save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation."

Salah's speech also attacked Jews, saying, "They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks. Our blood has passed from one 'general terrorist' to another 'general terrorist.'" (The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2008)

SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK Matthew 6:8

"For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him." Matthew 6:8

Even before we call upon the Lord in prayer, He knows what we need and has already begun the process of providing for that need. Before you ever knew what it was to be hungry, God gave to the earth the ability to grow every kind of food to nourish your body completely.

Before you knew what it was to be cold, God placed fuels in the earth to warm you and the wool of sheep to comfort you. Before you knew what it was to sin, God made redemption possible. Before you knew what it was to be sick, God promised healing to His people.

When Jews were scattered across the nations of the earth, Isaiah promised that "a nation would be born in a day." That miracle date was May 14, 1948 when Ben Gurion announced the formation of the state of Israel and a stubborn Missouri U.S. president, Harry S. Truman, signed a document recognizing the state of Israel in 11 minutes.

CUFI ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR SHARI DOLLINGER'S MESSAGE:

Israel at 60

Sixty years ago, on the fifth day of the month of Iyar (the Hebrew date of May 14, 1948),Jews declared their independence. Israel's "provisional government" signed the Declaration of Independence, which opens with the statement that "ERETZ-ISRAEL (the Land of Israel) was the birthplace of the Jewish people.

Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books."

This past Wednesday, May 7th, (the fifth day of the month of Iyar), we celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). Millions celebrated by dancing in the streets, watching fireworks that will were set off across the country, and gathering in parks for free concerts.

Israelis celebrated sixty years since the "provisional government" announced that "ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL."

Israelis have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. In the last sixty years, Israelis took an undeveloped rocky desert and created one of the most hi-tech, modern and successful democracies in the world. Israelis have revived and modernized the Hebrew language into the country's national language.

Jews have the highest number of companies listed on the U.S. Stock exchange other than the U.S. and Canada. Israel leads the world in the numbers of scientists and technicians in the workforce. Jews have more museums per capita than any other country in the world.

While we should celebrate Israel's miraculous growth and accomplishments, we cannot forget those who have sacrificed their lives for the benefit of the State. PARTICIPATE IN A FREE CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE CUFI LEADERSHIP

All CUFI members in the United States are invited to participate in a free conference call with Pastor John Hagee, CUFI Executive Director David Brog, your CUFI Regional Coordinator, Regional, State and City Directors, and CUFI members from your region.

Pastor Hagee and David Brog brief you on the current situation in the Middle East and provide you with critical information about the Third Annual CUFI Summit in Washington, D.C. July 21- 24, 2008.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions about mobilizing groups to attend the CUFI Washington-Israel Summit. We encourage you to invite your family, friends, and colleagues to participate in this unique opportunity. This call is free and open to anyone in the United States who is interested in the Jewish nation and the Middle East. Please forward this information to your family, friends, and colleagues.

Every CUFI region had a separate call on Tuesday, May 6 or Wednesday, May 7, 2008. In order to accommodate all the callers, we needed to reserve the proper number of conference call lines for each region.

Therefore, please RSVP via email to info@cufi.org or by calling (210) 477-4714. When you RSVP please specify your state or region number to enable us to reserve enough lines for your specific regional call. Once you RSVP the CUFI office will provide you with the call date and time, call-in number, and pass code for your regional call.

REGISTER FOR THE 2008 WASHINGTON SUMMIT

The Early-Bird Rate has been Extended

We're going back to Washington for Christians United for Israel's third annual DC Summit on July 21 to July 24. You need to be there with us!

Due to the challenging economic situation and the requests we've received from people waiting to get their tax refund checks, we have decided to extend the Early Bird Rate for three weeks. On May 20, 2008 the price for Christians United for Israel’s Third Annual Washington-Israel Summit will increase.

Today through May 19th the price for the Summit is $135 for CUFI members and $150 for non-CUFI members. Starting May 20th prices will increase to $180 for CUFI members and $200 for non-CUFI members.

We're bringing together some of the most influential leaders and thinkers in Washington to update you on recent developments in the Middle East and in Washington. We're holding a Night to Honor Israel down the street from the Capitol with Senator Joseph Lieberman and Pastor John Hagee. And we're going to Congress so that each of you can share your support for the Jews directly with your elected officials. You won't want to miss our largest and most important Summit yet!

Summit Itinerary

Hotel Information

Student Scholarships

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Register Now

Watch the CUFI 2008 Summit Promotional Video

Night to Honor Israel Report Update

The first Night To Honor Israel was held in Branson, Missouri at the majestic Tri Lakes Center on Sunday night the 4th of May, 2008. It was hosted by Reverend Billye Brim, CUFI’s Region 5 Director.

Pastor Todd Rogers, the CUFI Branson City Director welcomed more than 1,500 attendees who enthusiastically responded to Pastor Rogers and his musical Praise Team from the Harvest Assembly Church, Oak Grove, Arkansas.

The featured speakers were the dynamic and exciting Pastor John Hagee and Dr. Billye Brim. Mr. Todd Stettner, the Executive Vice President of the Greater Kansas City Jewish Federation accepted the offering of more than $20,000 that will go to relieve the suffering of the residents of Sderot, Israel an city near the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip, which has been under continual bombardment for many months.

It was a beautiful evening in south western Missouri and an even more beautiful message was sent to the Children of Israel, that there are thousands of Americans who desire to be a blessing and to stand firmly and materially with the Jewish nationl

Israel and The Middle East Update

New Information May Lead U.S. to Revise NIE on Iran There is mounting concern in Israel that Iran's nuclear capability may be far more advanced than was recognized in a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate last December. One source claimed the new information was on a par with intelligence that led Jews to discover and then destroy a partly constructed nuclear reactor in Syria last September. "We expect the Americans to amend their report soon," a high-ranking Israeli military officer said last week. (Uzi Mahnaimii, Times-UK, May 4, 2008)

Palestinian Rocket Fire at Israel Continues On Sunday, four Israelis were treated for shock when three Kassam rockets fired by Palestinians in Gaza struck the city of Sderot. One rocket hit a cemetery, causing damage. The second destroyed the roof of a shop in the city's commercial district and the third damaged a residential building. (Mijal Grinberg, Ha'aretz, May 4, 2008)

Hizbullah Trains Iraqis in Iran, U.S. Says An American official said the account of Hizbullah's role was provided by four Shiite militia members who were captured in Iraq late last year and questioned separately. The training is carried out at several camps near Tehran that are overseen by the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. (Michael R. Gordon, The New York Times, May 5, 2008)

Iran Rules Out Halt to Nuclear Work

Iran ruled out halting its nuclear work on Monday, saying it would not consider any incentives offered by world powers that violated its atomic rights. Iran says enrichment is a national right that it will not give up. (Reuters, May 5, 2008)

Rice Meets Olmert in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Olmert met visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rice on Saturday evening after she arrived for a 36-hour visit. He is expected to hold a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. A senior PA official in Ramallah said that in the wake of Abbas' recent talks in Washington with President Bush and Rice, it was "unrealistic" to expect a breakthrough between the Palestinians and Israelis before the end of the year. (- Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon , The Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2008)

Blessings to you and those you love,

Pastor John Hagee National Chairman Christians United for Israel

David Brog Executive Director Christians United for Israel

CUFI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DAVID BROG'S WEEKLY MESSAGE: Happy Birthday Israel

SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK Psalm 102:13

Due to the challenging economic situation and the requests we've received from people waiting to get their tax refund checks, we have decided to extend the Early Bird Rate. On May 20, 2008 the price for Christians United for Israel’s Third Annual Washington-Israel Summit will increase.

Today through May 19th the price for the Summit is $135 for CUFI members and $150 for non-CUFI members. Starting May 20th prices will increase to $180 for CUFI members and $200 for non-CUFI members.

We're bringing together some of the most influential leaders and thinkers in Washington to update you on recent developments in the Middle East and in Washington. We're holding a Night to Honor Israel down the street from the Capitol with Senator Joseph Lieberman and Pastor John Hagee. And we're going to Congress so that each of you can share your support for the Jewish nation directly with your elected officials. You won't want to miss our largest and most important Summit yet!

CUFI has mailed Summit brochures to every person in our database. The brochure is also a poster which we would like you to display at your church or place of business. To request additional brochures to distribute throughout your community and display, kindly contact the CUFI office at info@cufi.org or (210) 477-4714.

Please provide your name, address, and number of brochures that you need.

Summit Itinerary

Hotel Information

CUFI has secured special CUFI rates at hotels within walking distance of the Washington Convention Center. By booking a hotel in the CUFI hotel block you will receive a special rate and will help support CUFI by ensuring that we do not have the financial burden of unoccupied hotel rooms.

Please make your reservations by calling 1- 888-846-0191 or 506-637-0320

Student Scholarships

Registration Information

Register Now

Watch the CUFI 2008 Summit Promotional Video

Sixty years ago, the world witnessed a modern miracle. The Jewish people declared their independence in their ancient homeland. After two millennia of exile, the Jewish people had come home.

As we know, this miracle was not immaculate. Israel's birth was accompanied by the most horrible of birth pangs. Five Arab armies tried to crush the Jews before her Declaration of Independence could be translated into the reality of independence. A rag-tag army including Holocaust survivors fresh off the boats from Europe fought back and won. But thousands of young defenders fell in the process.

In a very real sense, the Jews are still fighting her War of Independence. All of Israel's wars have been merely battles in Israel's larger struggle to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East.

David Brog Executive Director Christians United for Israel

ISRAEL AND MIDDLE EAST NEWS

Hizbullah Redrawing Mideast Map

Hizbullah's dramatic gains in Lebanon are just part of a regional process that began last year in Gaza and will continue in Jordan and Egypt, Sheikh Yazeeb Khader, a Ramallah-based Hamas political activist and editor, said in an interview. His remarks highlight a growing alliance linking Hamas, Iran and Hizbullah.

The notion of new countries falling under Islamist influence reflects a goal of Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, of replacing secular Arab regimes with Islamist governments. (Joshua Mitnick, The Washington Times, May 12, 2008)

Kibbutz Man Killed in Hamas Mortar Attack

Jimmy Kedoshim, 48, a father of three, was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack on Friday as he was tending the garden of his home on Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Palestinians in Gaza fired 21 Kassam rockets at Israel Saturday, causing injuries as well as damage to buildings, including a Sderot synagogue and a structure near Sapir College. (Yuval Azoulay and Or Kashti , Ha'aretz, May 11, 2008)

Palestinian Rocket Lands Near School in Ashkelon Monday Ashkelon's resident woke up Monday morning to the sound of a rocket alert siren. Moments later, at around 7 am, explosions were heard in the area. One rocket hit a southern neighborhood in the seaside city and another in the Ashkelon National Park south of the city. The first rocket landed near an elementary school in an area where several schools and kindergartens are located. One woman suffered from shock and several houses sustained damage. (Shmulik Hadad , Ynet News, May 12, 2008)

Palestinian Rocket Lands Near School Bus in Sderot. A Palestinian rocket landed in Sderot near a bus carrying schoolchildren on Sunday. The bus windows were shattered, a fire broke out nearby, and three children were treated for shock. (Shmulik Hadad , Ynet News, May 11, 2008)

Update for June, 2008

Dear Readership,

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is planning to host meetings for pastors and ministry leaders throughout Iowa later this summer. As a resource for pro-Israel Christian leaders, CUFI offers Pastors’ Meetings to introduce, equip, and mobilize congregants to be effective advocates for Israel. These Pastors’ Meetings will explain the vision and objectives of CUFI.

I am currently in the planning stages for this summer’s Pastors’ Meetings. Therefore, I am contacting you to ascertain which cities in Iowa to hold Pastors’ Meetings. If you are interested in hosting a Pastors’ Meeting in your city please contact me. We will set the date and plan the meeting together. I will provide the materials, videos, and an overview of CUFI. I just ask that you help recruit at least two dozen pastors or ministry leaders.

CUFI is a coalition of Christians from a broad and diverse spectrum of Christian denominations. We believe that Genesis 12:3 and Romans 15:27 are cornerstones of a Biblical mandate to bless and stand with the Jewish people, “the apple of God’s eye.”

We also believe that Christians should be good stewards and spokespersons regarding the God-given liberties entrusted to us in our nation which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

Please contact me at

John.Somerville@cufi.org

if you are interested in hosting or attending a Pastors’ Meeting.

Thank you. John John T. Somerville Christians United For Israel (CUFI) Central Regional Coordinator (559) 877-2882 (559) 760-5410 cell John.Somerville@cufi.org

UPDATE: June 20, 2008

SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK Isaiah 62: 6-7

"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth." (Isa 62:6-7)

"You who call on the Lord"... This phrase has struck a resounding, unending chord in my heart… "You who call on the Lord"…

How many times in my life have I called on God for His help, His intervention, His blessing?

I called on Him, to be sure, for my salvation. I called on Him when I committed myself to His ministry. I called on Him with my wife as we entered into our marriage covenant. We called on Him when our sons were born, and when we pray with them every night as we put them to bed. There is not a day goes by that I don't access the blessing of calling on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Think of this the next time you call on the name of the Lord: If we are going to access the BLESSINGS of the covenant, we need also to accept the RESPONSIBILITIES of the covenant. Are we living up to our calling to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem? Are we beseeching the Lord to establish Jerusalem and make her the praise of the earth? This is our responsibility even our obligation as inheritors of so great a salvation.

As we call on the Lord, let us also cry out to the Lord, for Zion's sake, and for His Peace in Jerusalem.

Rev. Robert Stearns Executive Director, Eagles' Wings Region 10 Director, CUFI

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the gentiles, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126

How favored we are having been ordained to live in the time of “the return.” Upon witnessing the foretold homecoming of “the captives” back to Zion, we gentiles become a type of holy cheerleading squad, proclaiming to the world: ”The Lord has done great things for them.”

I feel God’s pleasure every time I remind my Jewish friends; “to you God has given the adoption as sons; the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises!”

In speaking to members of the Jewish community around the nation, I also feel special honor in being able to “cheer them on” in reading Torah and seeking the Almighty in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Pastor Victor Styrsky Christians United For Israel California Director

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November 2008 update

As Christians we have a Biblical obligation to defend the Jewish nation and the Jewish people in their time of need.

Israel's time of need is now. There is a new Hitler in the Middle East --President Ahmadinejad of Iran -- who has threatened to wipe out the Jews and America and is rapidly acquiring the nuclear technology to make good on his threat. Tragically, 2008 has been a year of steady progress for President Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions.

I ask you to help us defend the Jews TODAY by donating online. As Iran gets steadily closer to obtaining nuclear weapons, we get that much closer to the possibility of a second Holocaust. The risk that Israel and her six million Jews might be "wiped off the map" is too great for us to sit silently by as the world does nothing. As 2008 ends and 2009 begins, we must redouble our efforts to stop Iran. In particular, we must combine fervent prayer with urgent action.

First we must pray that this threat to the Jews and America will be removed. In the next few weeks you will receive a letter from me asking you to take action to stop Iran and a prayer card to help you pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the security of the Jewish nation. I hope you will use these and other scriptures as you beseech our Lord to protect the Jews and the world in these trying times.

In addition to prayer, we must also act to make sure that our fellow citizens and our government recognize the urgency of this threat. Christians United for Israel is determined to focus intensely on the issue of Iran in 2009. We plan to educate Christians across America about the threat of a nuclear Iran. We intend to help our members speak out in their communities and churches to raise awareness on this issue.

We plan to communicate the urgency of this issue to our leaders in Washington and demand that they act with greater resolve to stop this threat to America and the Jewish nation.

But we simply cannot meet this great challenge without your help. We will need financial resources to match our ambitious agenda. As you consider your year-end giving, we hope that you will keep CUFI in mind.

Please click here to make a donation to CUFI today. The challenges are great. The time is limited. But with your generous support, we can continue to be an effective defender of Israel at this most crucial hour.

May the Lord God of Israel bless you and yours, Pastor John Hagee National Chairman Christians United for Israel

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Pray for the Peace of Israel

As I write these words, I am at an undisclosed site near Gaza. The atmosphere over here is massively charged, both militarily and politically. The Israeli military has been in full operation. Rockets are landing in the distance, and an impending sense of the prophetic importance of what is happening grows by the hour.

What I have to share with you is extremely urgent. Our days have been filled here in Israel as we have gathered footage and interviewed some of the most influential people in this war-torn region. Those interviewed (or scheduled to be interviewed during my visit) include:

Dr. Dore Gold (president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations)

Danny Ayalon (former ambassador to the United States)

Major Avital Leibovich (spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces)

Shahar Hermelin (Director of Tourism, Jewish National Fund)

David Buskila (mayor of Sderot)

General Effie Eitam (Brigadier General in the Israel Defense Forces and war hero who earned Israel's Medal of Distinguished Service in the Yom Kippur War)

Dr. Ely Karmon (senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center and leading expert on international terrorism)

Avi Melamed (analyst and lecturer, Yanshuf)

Colonel Shimon “Katcha” Cahaner (Israeli war hero)

My Urgent Desire to Share What Is Actually Happening Here

I have shared with you about the dream the Lord showed me early in the morning of December 26. I saw through this dream that the nation of Israel would be involved in a serious military operation in Gaza and that a part of Hamas, the terrorist organization supported by Iran, would be destroyed at the cost of many lives. As I awoke, I was filled with grief for the lives that would be lost in this conflict.

Shortly after waking from my dream, to my amazement I began hearing and seeing the news bulletins about the attacks and air-strikes taking place primarily in Gaza, and as the crisis grew, I knew God was directing me to come here to Israel, not just to gather footage for This Is Your Day! to present a clearer view of what is happening in the Holy Land, but especially because of the need to talk and mediate with many of the leaders in this region.

God is clearly at work, and He has given me favor during these days in the midst of this land and the people that I love! I came here to Israel as soon as possible after the latest violence in Gaza began, not just because I am interested in what is happening here in my homeland, but also because I believe that it is absolutely crucial for the world to see what is really taking place.

It is as if we are literally seeing prophecy come to life in front of our eyes.

What is truly happening is what you won’t see in most newspapers and news reports. There is such a bias against Israel that permeates our mainstream media. The terrorists who hide behind women and children always end up being projected as innocent freedom fighters, while the Israeli soldiers who seek to defend their people from the smuggled-in rockets and suicide bombers are often pictured as oppressors.

An Eyewitness to History

As I have mentioned many times, a part of my heart will always be in the port city of Jaffa (part of Tel Aviv), where my family had set up residence as immigrants to Palestine from Greece. In 1968, not long after the Six-Day War, my family immigrated to Canada, but during the time we spent in Israel, my father was in a high position with the Israeli government. It was not an uncommon experience for important officials and military leaders to visit our home for discussions with my father.

Men such as General Moshe Dayan came to our home regularly. Golda Meir and my father were on a first-name basis. I was just a child, so I had no idea how important these people were or what my father’s association with them meant. My father, in fact, died without telling any of us exactly what he did. I had to find out from people in Israel after his death about all the things he did during the early years of Israel’s struggle as a nation.

So, even though I didn’t know the extent of all that was happening in my childhood home and our city, I was literally seeing history happening and biblical prophecy coming alive. That is one of the major reasons that I have spent all of my adult life, dating back to 1972 when I became a Christian, as a serious student of prophecy. Because of my childhood, everything in Israel and the Bible has always been so vivid to me, since I grew up living in the midst of history.

That is also why I have taken such an interest in what is happening right now in the Middle East, for I believe these recent developments in Israel are signaling a hot, accelerated, and unprecedented prophetic season that will quickly change the course of history.

Central to Fulfilled Prophecy

Through the centuries, Israel has always been at the center, the very heart, of prophecy.

Any student of the Bible understands that what happens to the Jewish people affects the world. What happens to the Jewish people is especially momentous for the church. And in a day when we can see instantly the news that is taking place on the other side of the world, literally happening right before the cameras, we must understand the prophetic significance that these events are signaling.

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:22-24)

The restoration of Israel in 1948 was a significant prophetic fulfillment of His chosen people being gathered out of all countries into their own land after twenty centuries. For some unknown, improbable reason, Jews around the world began having the dream stirred within them to return to their homeland. The history of those momentous times leading to 1948 are increasingly known, including the 1947 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which sought to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict by partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

After the immediate aftermath of that Partition plan, the conflict escalated that continued to spread, even as Israel declared its independence (and rebirth as a nation). The miracles that led to Israel’s defense of its independence are truly remarkable, even to the fact that they had only one plane for its entire air force and only seltzer bottles for bombs, yet they stood against the enemy in such amazing ways and began establishing themselves as an increasingly strong nation.

Isn’t it remarkable that God inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write these words around 26 centuries before 1948: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness” (Jeremiah 31:23).

When they left the land of Israel, they spoke Hebrew. When they returned, they still spoke Hebrew. Do you know the chances of that happening? In most cultures, people who move into a new culture discard their old language within two generations. Yet God preserved the Hebrew language, despite the fact that His chosen people were displaced throughout the world.

Another major fulfillment of prophecy came during the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and Arab neighbors, primarily Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, but also including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria). Against overwhelming odds, this tiny nation defeated the best armies, navies, and air forces in the Middle East. Israel annexed East Jerusalem. More and more prophecies began coming into view, soon leading to a fevered pitch for rebuilding the Temple.

So many more miracles have been told and retold about Israel’s years of survival, no matter how improbable their survival has continued to be.

Today, as the conflicts of 2009 heat up, it is apparent that we are living in times as momentous as 1948 and 1967.

The Urgent Challenge

As we continue to talk with the leaders of this region, let me share with you that it is apparent here in the midst of the battlefield that we are living in a serious and dangerous hour.

In fact, I believe that this is the most dangerous hour in recent history certainly the beginning of the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Israel is possibly facing another holocaust, possibly nuclear.

We know that God is going to save Israel, according to His Word, but we must earnestly pray for their deliverance. What do these prophetic fulfillments mean for believers around the world?

First, we must “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). As you view the footage and interviews from Israel on This Is Your Day! this command from God becomes clear. Without Gods intervention, the situation will become increasingly impossible as other nations line up on the side of the terrorists.

Second, today’s accelerated events create an even greater need to get the Gospel out with intense speed. This is not the time to slow down. This is a wake-up call for all believers. Quite simply, we are running out of time. But this can be our greatest hour as we proclaim the Gospel boldly, no matter what happens in the world.

Prophetically, we are eyewitnesses to one of the most amazing times in all of history, and we must be aware of the fact that this could very well be our last chance to share the Gospel!

The end of this age is quickly approaching, and while there is still time, our Lord Jesus has called you and me to go into all the world to preach His blessed Gospel and tell all nations that He is the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world, that He is the One who takes away the sins of the world, and that He is the “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)!

We must take the Gospel to a lost and dying world now, for “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). I can tell you, as I watch and listen to the bombardments in nearby Gaza while I write this letter, that our time is shorter than we had previously thought. Our time is rapidly running out and this is the time to be vigilant.

We cannot delay in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot lose this glorious moment of opportunity; for people without hope, especially during history’s seemingly darkening days, will listen to the message of hope. We know that these are days of unprecedented opportunity to share the life-saving and miracle-working Gospel.

This Is Our Hour!

This is the moment of our greatest destiny! This is the hour for which we have been called and chosen! This a critical time for Israel, the Middle East, and the entire world, and I am asking you to be a vital part of helping to take the life-changing and miracle-working message of the Gospel to the nations.

We know that Jesus Christ is the only Answer for this crisis, and as you pray and plant your seed today, you are joining with others around the world in this great end-time ministry. I urge you to join me in setting aside time during the coming days to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

And please prayerfully consider planting a generous seed today, knowing that our Lord Jesus declared, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Sow your seed with mighty expectation for today and the future! Now is the time, for your greatest days are ahead. Your future is so much greater than your past and your tomorrows can be more prosperous than anything you have known before!

For we know it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6)…

Preaching the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, teaching the unchanging Word of God, and expecting the mighty and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit,

Benny Hinn Ministry

(See Ministry of the Shepherds on this site for more information)

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Israel Virtual Library

Book One of 35: Agriculture

Advanced Agriculture as a Tool Against Desertification by Dr. Dov Sitton (July 1997)

Introduction

Desertification affects arid regions throughout the world, inflicting destitution on the populations of vast areas and threatening them with famine. Reversing the process by which the desert invades arable land and turns it into a desolate waste is one of the most crucial challenges facing the communities and nations of arid regions.

Confronting the problems caused by desertification requires tremendous efforts. An essential prerequisite for success is a dedicated leadership aware of the problems, willing to allocate adequate financial resources and to introduce effective agrotechnological methods - and endowed with perseverance.

From the very inception of modern Israel, settling the desert and turning it into farming land was considered a matter of national priority. First by trial and error and later on through research and development, agricultural know-how was incorporated into practice and became a highly useful tool for turning the desert into productive and habitable land.

The major transition from traditional to modern agriculture was based, from the very beginning, on changing attitudes with regard to the supply of water to the arid regions, combined with suitable adaptation and implementation of advanced agricultural methods and accumulated experience.

The pivotal role of water supply for agricultural purposes in the arid and semiarid regions of Israel will be discussed in detail

Background

Although the State of Israel borders the Mediterranean Sea, its climate is profoundly affected by the proximity of vast tracts of desert to the south and east. Precipitation is limited to the winter season, which extends essentially from November to March. Annual rainfall averages between 800 and 400 mm. in the north and west of the country and declines sharply toward the south and east, dropping almost to zero.

Thus, most of the area of Israel is characterized by semiarid and arid conditions. About 60% of the country is classed as arid and needs to be irrigated all year round to sustain agriculture, and even where precipitation is relatively high - in the northern and western parts - summer crops require irrigation between April and October. The more aridic areas are characterized by stronger solar radiation and higher levels of water evaporation from the ground surface.

All over the country, but much more so in the southern and eastern regions, the annual precipitation varies considerably from one year to the next. Under such climatic conditions the water supply picture is one of a fragile balance between supply and demand.

Agriculture under Arid Conditions - An Historical Perspective The Negev before 1948

Until 1948, the year of the establishment of the State of Israel, the southern part of the country, called the Negev, was inhabited mainly by nomadic Bedouin tribes. The Bedouin - who numbered some 65,000 at that time and were spread out over an area of about 10,000 sq. km. - subsisted principally on sheep, goat and camel herding.

The Bedouin tribes moved around periodically in search of pasture and water. Being wholly dependent on erratic seasonal rains and floods, they were often short of food for themselves and for their flocks.

In certain areas - mainly the northern and western Negev - semi-nomadic Bedouin practiced a subsistence agriculture which relied wholly on the erratic rainfall. The crops grown were mainly barley and wheat, and farming was restricted to winter and early spring crops. Drought and crop failure were frequent events.

An additional type of farming practiced on a very small scale by the Bedouin was based on the stone dams erected by the ancient Nabateans and Byzantines. Such dams, supplemented by simple barriers made of dirt, were used to collect floodwaters and promote deep wetting of the ground. Under such conditions they were able to plant a small number of fruit trees, such as grape, almond and pomegranate and to cultivate vegetables during the summer.

First Modern Agricultural Settlements in the Negev The officials of the Ottoman Empire who ruled Palestine until 1917, and later the British Mandatory authorities, saw the Negev as uninhabitable territory whose chief importance was strategic and political. Therefore, little effort was invested in developing the region and improving the standard of living of its inhabitants.

The Jewish community, on the other hand, showed particular interest in the vast uninhabited tracts of the Negev from the very inception of the agricultural settlement drive at the end of the 19th century. A small number of studies and surveys were carried out in the twenties. These pointed to a pessimistic conclusion - namely that scanty rains, lack of local sources of water and infertile soils precluded successful farming. Furthermore, the agrotechnologies available at the time did not offer ways of overcoming local environmental limitations.

There is no doubt that the early surveyors were influenced by the meager, rain-fed agriculture practiced by the Bedouin.

At a later date, it was realized that the establishment of small communities to explore local conditions was essential to planning future settlement in the Negev. In 1943 three experimental settlements were established in the Negev, each roughly 30 km. distant from the others. The main aim was to explore soil conditions, availability of water (including data on annual precipitation), and the kind of crops that could be cultivated under the prevailing conditions. Another eleven settlements were founded in the Negev in 1946, equipped and financed by Jewish national institutions, and a further five settlements in 1947.

From the very beginning of this pioneering endeavor, it was apparent that the main limiting factor from the standpoint of agriculture was the scarcity of water. The recognition that the establishment of a modern and economically viable agriculture hinged on irrigation, which in turn called for a reliable supply of water, led to the launching of a series of exploratory studies.

These included meteorological, geological and hydrological surveys. Attempts were made to drill wells and draw underground water; however, the quantities obtained were quite small, and the salinity of the water was often too high for agricultural use. Attempts to build dams and reservoirs to collect seasonal floodwaters failed because of the large fluctuations from year to year in quantity and intensity of the floods, as well as technical difficulties.

Eventually it was concluded that the only way of securing a dependable and sufficiently large supply of water for agriculture was to transport fresh water from northern sources via pipes.

The first pipeline, installed in 1947, assured a reliable but limited supply of water to most of the settlements of the Negev -although several of them still needed to rely on local wells. This pipeline transported water from wells in the northern Negev. The first stage, installed and functioning in 1947, consisted of 190 km. of 6"-diameter pipelines supplying 1 million m3 (MCM) annually.

Later on this line was converted to a 20" pipeline supplying 30 MCM annually. This pioneering endeavor was followed by two large-scale projects which will be described below. The significance of this pioneering pipeline was that the concept of transporting water from the north to sustain the southern arid section of the country had become firmly established.

Agricultural Settlements in the Negev after 1949 Shortly after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 a large influx of immigrants took place. A relatively large proportion of the new immigrants were directed to new settlements, many of them in the southern region of the country. Proper supply of water was a precondition for inhabiting a region which lacked sufficient local resources of water for farming and domestic use. A comprehensive system for supplying water was therefore called for.

The first large-scale project constructed to provide the new settlers with an adequate water supply system was a 66"-diameter pipeline drawing water from the Yarkon River to the Negev over a distance of 130 km. The annual output of this line was about 100 MCM.

The second large-scale project was the National Water Carrier, the most ambitious water supply project to date, designed mainly to convey water to the southern region of the country from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in the north. The plans were approved in 1956, and the carrier was completed and functioning by 1964.

The carrier is a combination of underground pipelines, open canals, interim reservoirs and tunnels supplying about 400 MCM annually. Water from the Sea of Galilee, located about 220 m. below sea level, is pumped to an elevation of about 152 m. above sea level.

From this height the water flows by gravitation to the coastal region, whence it is pumped to the Negev. The National Water Carrier functions not only as the main supplier of water, but also as an outlet for surplus water from the north in winter and early spring and a source of recharge to the underground aquifers in the coastal region.

Israel's Water Resources and Supply: Policy and Management

As we saw, the problem of an adequate water supply for agriculture began to preoccupy the leadership of the Jewish community long before the State of Israel was founded. Soon after the state's establishment in 1948, the issue of water was assigned top priority.

Urgency was seen not only in planning and carrying out projects and securing funds, but also in consolidating a legal framework which would regulate all the elements pertinent to the matter of water supply.

Accordingly, in 1959 the comprehensive Water Law was passed in the Knesset. The Water Law states that all sources of water in the state are public property, subject to the control of the state and dedicated to the needs of its inhabitants and the development of the country.

Each person is entitled to obtain water and to use it, subject to the provisions of the Law. Three central institutions created by the Law - the water council, the water commission and the court for water matters - are charged with carrying out a comprehensive and balanced policy of water production and supply on the national level.

Management of Water Resources in Israel

Total available water in Israel averages about 2,000 MCM annually. The main consumers are the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors, agriculture accounting for 60 - 72% of total water consumption.

About 90% of the fresh water resources of the State of Israel have been incorporated into a single system that enables implementation of a uniform national policy of water production and regular supply to the different sectors of consumers (agriculture, domestic and industry). To conserve and protect Israel's water resources, currently exploited almost to the limit, several measures have been taken by the water authorities:

Allocation of water quotas. Each sector is assigned an annual quota of water. The policy of allocation depends on the water balance, which may vary from one year to the next. Institution of sliding price scales varying according to sector. The individual consumer, be he farmer or city dweller, pays a higher price for water consumed beyond the allocated quantity. Recycling of sewage water.

Increasing quantities of sewage water have been finding their way into the environment and endangering groundwater and other sources of fresh water. The pressing need to find alternate sources of water supply, together with the critical condition of the environment, led the authorities to set up the Shafdan plant, a large-scale project for processing sewage to produce purified water.

The treated water is recharged to a nearby aquifer. Two major benefits result: a) percolation of the water through the soil layers provides an additional cleaning phase, and b) the aquifer serves as an underground reservoir for the recharged water, preventing loss by evaporation. Water is pumped off when needed, i.e., mainly in summer. About 100 MCM of this purified water is transported annually via a separate pipeline called the "Third Negev Pipeline" to the western Negev for irrigation. Due to the high degree of purity of the treated water, it can be used for all crops without any health risk.

Additional plants for processing sewage water for irrigation are under construction or on the planning boards. It is expected that most of the water allocated for agriculture will eventually consist of purified effluents.

Smaller-scale plants in the Negev provide treated sewage water for irrigation of fields located a short distance from the source of the effluent. This water is of inferior quality because of minimal treatment, and use is restricted to irrigation of crops such as cotton in the summer. Small projects of this type are reported to be highly cost-effective. Exploitation of saline (brackish) water.

Hydro-geological surveys have revealed that the Negev and the Arava valley possess considerable reserves of saline underground water with a variable concentration of salts. Many studies have been carried out to investigate whether this water can be used for irrigation. It was found that certain crops, such as cotton, tomato and melon, readily tolerate saline water (up to 7-8 dS/m salinity).

For certain crops, there is no doubt that saline water can be used in place of fresh water for irrigation. However, to minimize accumulation of salts around plant roots and facilitate leaching away of salts that do accumulate, it is essential a) to use drip delivery systems and b) to cultivate the plants in soil-less medium or light soils (sandy or loamy-sandy soil).

Advanced Methods of Irrigation

One of the principles of good agricultural practice is to provide developing plants with an adequate water supply - i.e., to avoid excess standing water and to prevent exposure to water shortage. Excessive amounts of water can cause poor aeration of the root system leading to inhibition of plant development, or wasteful percolation through the soil beyond the volume of the root system, or both.

A water deficit places the plant under stress and interferes with its normal development. Avoiding water stress is particularly important in arid regions, where high solar radiation and low humidity enhance evapotranspiration (the process of loss of water from the ground surface and plant canopy).

Efficient use of water is crucially dependent on advanced irrigation technologies, and nowhere more so than in arid-land farming. Until about 50 years ago crops in this country were irrigated by surface (flood and furrow) irrigation. Surface irrigation is possible only when the ground is leveled and the soil type enables slow or moderate percolation of the water.

Under arid conditions, surface methods of irrigation lead to severe loss of water by evaporation and to percolation beyond the developed root system, especially in the stages of germination and early development; moreover, between irrigation sessions the plants are exposed to stress. Another negative aspect of surface irrigation under arid and semiarid conditions is the process of soil salinization.

The prevailing high temperatures and low humidity cause intense evaporation from the ground accompanied by accumulation of salts in the upper layers of the soil. The soil gradually becomes unfit for cultivation, both because of the destruction of the soil and due to the direct effect of the high concentration of salt on the plants. Vast areas in arid and semiarid regions of many countries affected by salinization have indeed had to be abandoned.

Pressurized irrigation with sprinklers, introduced about 50 years ago, contributed much to modernizing agriculture and increasing water use efficiency. However, from the standpoint of agriculture in arid and semiarid regions, the most important development has been the introduction of drip irrigation. Drip irrigation was developed in Israel and introduced into Israeli agriculture less than 30 years ago. Since then it has been disseminated all over the world with great success. Drip irrigation has many advantages over other irrigation methods:

Water is discharged uniformly along the lateral (pipe fitted with drippers) even on moderately sloping terrain. The invention of compensated drippers enables uniform irrigation of steeper slopes and long distances.

Fertilizers can be supplied to the plant via the drippers together with the water (fertigation). Water and fertilizers are delivered directly to the root system rather than to the total area of the field, thereby economizing on both water and fertilizers.

The quantity of water delivered can be optimized to fit different soil types, avoiding percolation of water beyond the root zone.

The emergence of weeds is minimized.

Exploitation of poor quality water (saline water or effluents) is made possible.

Drippers with a given discharge of water (liters per hour) can be installed at any spacing to accommodate the needs of any crop.

Drip irrigation is the most efficient method as regards water saving. Water use efficiency (WUE), is the ratio between the amount of water taken up by the plant and the total amount of water applied. Since the drippers emit the water directly to the soil adjacent to the root system, which absorbs the water immediately, evaporation to the air is minimal. This effect is especially important under the conditions prevailing in arid zones.

In irrigation by sprinklers or by surface methods, evaporation is enhanced by winds; by comparison, in drip irrigation the impact of winds is minimal.

Drip irrigation, unlike sprinkler irrigation, makes it possible to utilize saline water by eliminating direct contact between the water and the leaves, thus avoiding burns. Drip irrigation causes salts to be continuously washed away from the root system, avoiding salt accumulation in the immediate vicinity of the roots when irrigating salinized soils or irrigating with saline water.

Drip irrigation allows the use of sewage water because the water is delivered directly to the ground, minimizing health risks. High-quality drip irrigation equipment can last for fifteen to twenty years if handled properly.

To sum up the subject of water use efficiency, studies show that while WUE is about 45% in surface irrigation and 75% in sprinkler irrigation, in drip irrigation it is about 95%. Consequently, it may be concluded that drip irrigation has many advantages over other methods of irrigation and that it is significantly superior to surface and sprinkler irrigation in regard to water saving, especially under conditions of limited water supply.

The Role of Research in Arid Zones

From the very early exploratory agricultural communities in the arid regions of Israel to the large settlement projects and all the way to the present, there has been a continuous and fruitful interaction between farmers and scientists. Many problems deriving from the conditions specific to arid regions have been studied by researchers, leading to successful solutions and innovative discoveries.

Among many others are the development of methods for bettering salinated soils, the use of saline water for irrigation, the development and breeding of new varieties of vegetables and other crops, and the methodology for incorporating fertilizers in irrigation water by means of drip systems.

The extension services offered to farmers by the Ministry of Agriculture have been instrumental in the introduction to the farmers of advanced agrotechnologies, new varieties and proper agricultural management The existing close cooperation between farmers, extension officers and researchers is the main factor contributing to the success of farming in the arid Negev of Israel.

In the light of the review presented here, it is suggested that Israel can serve as an effective learning model for many regions afflicted by similar arid conditions.

For further information, please contact:

Foreign Relations Department

Ministry of Agriculture

12 Arania St.

Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61070

Tel: (972)-3-697-1711

Fax: (972)-3-696-7891

Applied Research Institutes

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Be'er Sheva

Tel: (972)-7-646-1967

Fax: (972)-7-647-2984

-mail: dsitton@bgumail.bgu.ac.il

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Israel is a sovereign nation. Like every other sovereign nation, Israel has an inalienable right to defend its citizens and its terroritory.

For too long, terrorist gangs have traumatized, maimed and murdered Israeli citizens, destroying their lives and property. For too long, these terrorist gangs have rained rockets indiscriminately down on Israeli towns and citizens. For far too long, Israeli governments have restrained their reactions, and barely responded to these deadly provocations - for fear of injuring innocent Palestinians.

Enough is enough! Israelis love life, and Israel’s government holds human life (all human life) in high regard, seeking peace with all its neighbors. But - how to deal with an enemy that hides, like a coward, under the skirts of an innocent civilian population? How to deal with an enemy that has no regard for human life - not even that of its own brothers, the Palestinians? How to deal with an enemy that does not seek to help its own people and develop its own infrastructure, but only to destroy another?

Finally, Israel has responded - with a fraction of its might - surgically targeting military installations and locations, thus minimizing citizen casualties.

Enough is enough! But what will happen now? The world will condemn Israel’s actions. Blaring red newspaper headlines will tell of “the strong Israeli army attacking the helpless civilian population of Gaza”. Nobody will mention the civilian population of southern Israel, which has spent much of the past eight years in bomb shelters, trying to avoid the showers of rockets and bombs being fired on them from inside the Gaza Strip.

We hope that the Israeli people will stand firm, and that the Israeli government will be strong enough to withstand the world’s pressure – and complete the job that has to be done.

Udi & Mal

60 YEARS: SO - WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

For whatever reason - be it xenophobia or the need for a scapegoat - the Jews have long been a hated and persecuted minority: a thorn in the side of humanity. From the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Romans, through medieval Europe, the Inquisition, Soviet anti-Semitism, the Third Reich - to Achmedinajad and his cronies: that’s a thorn of colossal, millennial proportions when compared to the mere 60 years’ existence of the State of Israel.

According to the Bible, the Jews are God’s chosen people. Maybe that’s the reason why so many people hate the Jews. Nobody likes the teacher’s pet, though he may be admired or feared from afar. Israel’s supporters ask where the world would be without the scientific, medical, literary and hi-tech contributions of the Jews - but perhaps that’s the source of the problem. Nobody likes a wise guy.

For whatever reason - be it xenophobia or the need for a scapegoat - the Jews have long been a hated and persecuted minority: a thorn in the side of humanity. From the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Romans, through medieval Europe, the Inquisition, Soviet anti-Semitism, the Third Reich - to Achmedinajad and his cronies: that’s a thorn of colossal, millennial proportions when compared to the mere 60 years’ existence of the State of Israel.

According to the Bible, the Jews are God’s chosen people. Maybe that’s the reason why so many people hate the Jews. Nobody likes the teacher’s pet, though he may be admired or feared from afar. Israel’s supporters ask where the world would be without the scientific, medical, literary and hi-tech contributions of the Jews - but perhaps that’s the source of the problem. Nobody likes a wise guy.

Watching the annual ceremony on TV last night, which traditionally concludes Israel’s somber Day of Remembrance for its fallen and inharmoniously ushers in the noisy and colorful Independence Day celebrations, I was struck by the beauty of the pageant. There were no military parades through the streets, showing off sophisticated missiles or tanks.

For Israel’s 60th anniversary, the powers-that-be chose the theme of children. The huge expanse was filled with hundreds of superbly choreographed children, celebrating their country’s special independence in a spectacular pageant of dance, song, and theater.

Sure - Israel has the military capability, but it would much prefer not to have to use it. Some of the Arab states, the Palestinian Arab terrorists, Muslim and liberal radicals on the U.S. and European campuses, and even Arab members of Israel’s own democratically-elected Knesset manipulatively attempt to compare Israeli army defensive measures to the atrocities perpetrated by the darkest regimes of 20th-century Europe. A reminder: during WWII, six million Jews were subjected to starvation, slave labor and inhuman medical experimentation - and were then systematically exterminated in concentration camps while the world looked on. Never again!

As long as the Jewish state exists, it will defend the right of the Jewish people to live as a nation among nations. If the Palestinian Arab terrorists were to stop attacking Israel, then Israel would have no reason to use its reined-in military might to defend itself. Achmedinajad has threatened to wipe Israel off the map on numerous occasions, but any counter statement - be it from an Israeli minister or Hillary Clinton, or even Barack Obama (who kindly said that the USA under his leadership would defend Israel after any attack) - invokes an Iranian threat of UN resolutions. If that isn’t a theater of the absurd and double standards, then what is?

Since Udi and I began this info page - some seven long years ago - I have continued to believe that peace between all the inhabitants of the Middle East is both possible and desirable, and should be worked towards. I also believe - even today - that, for true and lasting peace, the majority of Jewish Israelis would be willing to return to pre-1967 proportions, with minor land-for-land adjustments. Compensation for former Arab assets in present-day Israel could be possible - conditional on equitable recompense for the Jewish assets forcibly abandoned or confiscated by the Arab countries since 1948.

There is so much to be gained from cordial relations and regional cooperation - far more than there is to be lost.

Then I thought back to the children in the Independence Day pageant, and of the information bulletin that I sent out from the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled only a few days ago. 14-year-old Asael Shabbo, an ISCD-member lost his mother and three siblings in a barbaric terrorist attack on his home some seven years ago. He also lost his right leg in the attack.

He is encouraging Rami and Osher Tuito from Sderot, and raising their spirits. The two Tuito brothers were severely injured in a recent Kassam attack on Sderot - Osher also lost a leg. All the military might in the world can’t give these kids their legs back. For the sake of all the children in the region, isn’t it about time we started making peace?

Article from Christians United for Israel August, 2009

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UPDATE: September 26, 2009 Below please find a very important request from CUFI. Please take a moment to act on this request.

Sincerely,

Pastor Tim Burt,

CUFI Region 8 Administrator and CUFI Minnesota State Director

Message from CUFI:

This week, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ascended the podium at the United Nations General Assembly. This man who stole his reelection and violently suppresses his political opponents sought to teach the world about democracy. This man who persecutes religious minorities and tortures civic activists presumed to lecture the world about human rights. This man who denies the Holocaust and has threatened to wipe Israel off the map dared to accuse Israel of genocide.

The United Nations and the world must stop treating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad like a national leader. Instead, we must start treating him like the international outlaw he is. In particular, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be brought before the International Criminal Court to stand trial for what may well be his most serious crime: incitement to genocide.

International law criminalizes not only the act of genocide, but also the direct and public incitement to commit genocide. This is an extremely important legal provision. The only way that the international community can stop genocide is if it prevents the acts that make it possible: namely the provocation of and preparation for such atrocities by people in positions of authority.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated threats to destroy Israel present a clear case of incitement to genocide. He has made these threats explicitly, publicly, and repeatedly. His pursuit of nuclear weapons and long range missiles, as well as his ongoing support for Hezbollah and Hamas, demonstrate that these threats are by no means idle.

Please visit our website. Click on the spinning globe above and then on the "Prosecute Ahmadinejad" icon to sign a petition calling upon the United Nations Security Council to refer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's crimes to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. This petition will be delivered to United Nations Secretary - General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, as well as to the current Security Council Chair.

The next time that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears before an international tribunal, it must not be as an honored guest at the United Nations General Assembly. It must be as a defendant in the dock of the International Criminal Court.

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DAILY ALERT FROM THE MIDEAST

Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

December 1, 2009, 14 Kislev, in the year of our Lord, 5770

Iran May Be Planning Decoy Sites to Hide Military Enrichment Efforts, Expert Says - Ali Akbar Dareini

Iran's announcement of plans to build ten more uranium enrichment facilities is largely bluster, analysts said Monday. Nonetheless, the defiance is fueling calls among Western allies for new punitive sanctions to freeze Iran's nuclear program. "They can't build those plants. There's no way," said nuclear expert David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "They have sanctions to overcome, they have technical problems. They have to buy things overseas...and increasingly it's all illegal." Still, the announcement is of major concern because it could signal an intention to put up numerous decoy sites to deceive the outside world, while building perhaps a few secret military enrichment sites that could be put to use in weapons production, Albright said. "This Qom site was probably meant to be a clandestine facility for breakout that they wanted built for nuclear weapons," said Albright. "And now that it's been exposed they may want to replace it." (AP)

Sanctions Urged as Anger Grows over Iran Nuclear Expansion - Catherine Philp

Iran faced mounting threats of sanctions Monday over its plans to expand massively its uranium enrichment program. French Defense Minister Herve Morin said, "The uranium enrichment programs have no other goal than a military goal," citing evidence "from the intelligence services of several countries, notably France." He said Tehran's defiance meant the international community "would probably have to impose new economic sanctions."

Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, said, "If Iran rejects the hand that has reached out, it must expect heavier sanctions." A spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said sanctions could be introduced as soon as next month, while David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, noted that "instead of engaging with us, Iran chooses to provoke." (Times-UK) See also U.S. Envoy to UN Slams Iran Enrichment Plan - John Heilprin

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Monday called Iran's plans to build additional uranium enrichment plants "unacceptable," warning they could bring increased international pressure on Tehran. "We view the Iranian announcement...as completely inappropriate and further isolating Iran from the international community," Rice said. "As Iran makes choices that seem to indicate that it is not at this stage ready and willing to take up the offers on the engagement track, then we will put greater emphasis on the pressure track."

(AP/Washington Post) News Resources - Israel and the Mideast: UN Marks 1947 Partition Vote as "Day of Mourning" - Yitzhak Benhorin

Israel celebrates the historic date of November 29, 1947 - the day the UN approved the partition plan creating the Jewish state - as marking the end of the British mandate and the beginning of independent rule. However, UN headquarters in New York and Geneva are holding ceremonies of mourning and solidarity with the Palestinian people. The UN General Assembly has embarked on a two-day marathon of anti-Israeli debates, which culminates with votes on six anti-Israel resolutions.

(Ynet News) Palestinians to Ask UN for 1967 Borders - E.B. Solomont Israeli officials were bracing for Palestinian diplomats to use a General Assembly debate to ask the UN Security Council to declare a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli officials reject the concept of a one-sided establishment of a Palestinian state, emphasizing that the only way to achieve peace is through negotiations.

(Jerusalem Post) Foreign Ministry Warns EU: Don't Declare Jerusalem Palestinian Capital - Herb Keinon Sweden's attempts to insert language into an EU resolution on the Middle East that would recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state harms European efforts to play a significant part in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, the Israel Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The statement followed a Ha'aretz report that the Swedes were pushing a resolution to be discussed at a monthly meeting of EU ministers next week in Brussels that would officially call for the division of Jerusalem.

The Foreign Ministry said that after the significant steps that Israel has taken to enable the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians - a reference to the recent moratorium on new housing starts in the West Bank - "the Europeans should be pressuring the Palestinians to return to the negotiation table. These types of moves being led by Sweden bring about the opposite result."

(Jerusalem Post) Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

Iran's Adventurism - Editorial While Ahmadinejad declares Iran's pacific intentions, that is disingenuous bluster. No disinterested observer can believe that Iran's program is designed purely to generate electricity. Iran pretends to cooperate with the IAEA and comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while withholding salient information and continuing its nuclear developments. It has built a second enrichment facility, near Qom, which should have been declared much earlier.

This was the object of the IAEA's criticism last week. The plan to build ten new plants is a new declaration of recalcitrance. Coming from a leader who believes in a literal and imminent apocalypse and who gleefully anticipates the extinction of the Jewish state, it is chilling.

The international community, specifically the U.S. and the EU3 (Britain, Germany and France), have been accommodating to a fault to Iran's reasonable needs. Further sanctions will need to bite, and the message from the UN should be single-minded. The multilateral arms control regime will be upheld, or it will be worthless. (Times-UK)

Israel Is Europe's Blind Spot - Isi Leibler In the "enlightened," postmodernist secular societies of Europe, which shun all manifestations of nationalism, Israel is no longer considered a revival of Jewish nationhood, but as a colonial implant that many would be happy to see somehow disappearing as a national entity. Simultaneously, the realpolitik imposed by oil-producing countries when securing energy that has become the national priority for most nations, together with the growing empowerment of radical Islamic groups throughout Europe, have resulted in many countries siding against Israel rather than confront the jihadists within their own borders. It is in this context that Israel remains the only country in the world whose very right to exist is challenged. It also highlights the dilemma facing Israel: the more concessions Israel has made over the last decade in order to reach an accommodation with its neighbors, the greater has been the terror unleashed against it and the more its international standing has eroded. (Guardian-UK)

Observations:

What Prime Minister Olmert Offered Mahmoud Abbas - Greg Sheridan (The Australian)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's term in office is best remembered for the extensive negotiations and final peace offer that he made to Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert is right to paint this offer as embodying the most extensive concessions, and the best deal, ever offered to the Palestinians by an Israeli leader. If the Palestinian leadership cannot accept that offer, can they accept any realistic offer? Do they have the machinery to run a state? Is their society too dysfunctional and filled with anti-Semitic propaganda to live in peace next to the Jewish state? Olmert explained his position to me in unprecedented detail. "From the end of 2006 until the end of 2008 I think I met with Abu Mazen (Abbas) more often than any Israeli leader has ever met any Arab leader. I met him more than 35 times. They were intense, serious negotiations."

"On the 16th of September, 2008, I presented him with a comprehensive plan. It was based on the following principles. One, there would be a territorial solution to the conflict on the basis of the 1967 borders with minor modifications on both sides. Israel will claim part of the West Bank where there have been demographic changes over the last 40 years."

Olmert says this would have involved Israel claiming about 6.4% of the West Bank: "Israel would claim all the Jewish areas of Jerusalem. All the lands that before 1967 were buffer zones between the two populations would have been split in half. In return there would be a swap of land (to the Palestinians) from Israel as it existed before 1967."

"I showed Abu Mazen how this would work to maintain the contiguity of the Palestinian state. I also proposed a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza. It would have been a tunnel fully controlled by the Palestinians but not under Palestinian sovereignty, otherwise it would have cut the State of Israel in two."

"No. 2 was the issue of Jerusalem....While I firmly believed that historically, and emotionally, Jerusalem was always the capital of the Jewish people, I was ready that the city should be shared. Jewish neighborhoods would be under Jewish sovereignty, Arab neighborhoods would be under Palestinian sovereignty, so it could be the capital of a Palestinian state. Then there was the question of the holy basin within Jerusalem, the sites that are holy to Jews and Muslims, but not only to them, to Christians as well. I would never agree to an exclusive Muslim sovereignty over areas that are religiously important to Jews and Christians. So there would be an area of no sovereignty, which would be jointly administered by five nations, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinian state, Israel and the United States."

"Third was the issue of Palestinian refugees....I think Abu Mazen understood there was no chance Israel would become the homeland of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian state was to be the homeland of the Palestinian people. So the question was how the claimed attachment of the Palestinian refugees to their original places could be recognized without bringing them in. I told him I would never agree to a right of return. Instead, we would agree on a humanitarian basis to accept a certain number every year for five years, on the basis that this would be the end of conflict and the end of claims. I said to him 1,000 per year. I think the Americans were entirely with me. In addition, we talked about creating an international fund that would compensate Palestinians for their suffering. I was the first Israeli prime minister to speak of Palestinian suffering and to say that we are not indifferent to that suffering."

"And four, there were security issues." Olmert says he showed Abbas a map which embodied all these plans. "I said 'this is the offer. Sign it and we can immediately get support from America, from Europe, from all over the world.' I told him he'd never get anything like this again from an Israeli leader for 50 years. I said to him, 'do you want to keep floating forever - like an astronaut in space - or do you want a state?' To this day we should ask Abu Mazen to respond to this plan. If they (the Palestinians) say no, there's no point negotiating."

December 25, 2009, 8 Tevet, in the year of our Lord, 5770

Al-Qaeda Terror Attack on U.S. Plane Foiled - Peter Slevin A Nigerian man, claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, tried to set off an incendiary device aboard a trans-Atlantic airplane on Christmas Day as it descended toward Detroit's airport. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was accused Saturday of trying to bring down the passenger jet with a homemade explosive device. Jasper Schuringa, an Amsterdam resident, restrained Abdulmutallab as others used blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the flames. Witnesses told the FBI that Abdulmutallab, 23, spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom before returning to his seat and pulling a blanket over his head. Then came a loud and sudden popping sound, followed by smoke and fire.

(Washington Post)

See also Father Alerted U.S. about Nigerian Plane Bomb Suspect Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, the father of the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day, warned U.S. authorities last month about his son's extreme views, say officials. High explosives are believed to have been moulded to the bomber's body and sewn into his underpants. A preliminary FBI analysis has found that the device contained the high explosive PETN, also known as pentaerythritol. PETN was used in the device worn by British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid in 2001.

The bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told investigators he had links to al-Qaeda and received the explosives in Yemen for a suicide attack, after a month of training. (BBC News)

At Least Ten Killed in Iran Protests - Robert F. Worth and Nazila Fathi

Police officers in Iran opened fire into crowds of protesters on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, witnesses and opposition Web sites said. One of the dead was Ali Moussavi, a 43-year-old nephew of the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, who appears to have been assassinated in a political gesture aimed at his uncle. In some parts of Tehran, protesters pushed the police back, hurling rocks and capturing several police cars and motorcycles, which they set on fire. Videos posted to the Internet showed groups of protesters attacking Basij militia. One video showed a group of protesters setting an entire police station aflame in Tehran. Several videos show police officers holding up their helmets and walking away from the melee, as protesters pat them on the back in appreciation. The turmoil revealed an opposition movement that is becoming bolder and more direct in its challenge to Iran's governing authorities.

(New York Times) See also Report: Iran Police Refuse to Shoot Protestors

An Iranian opposition website said police forces refused orders to shoot at pro-reform protesters during clashes on Sunday in Tehran. "Police forces are refusing their commanders' orders to shoot at demonstrators in central Tehran...some of them try to shoot into air when pressured by their commanders," the Jaras website said.

(Reuters)

See also Iran Battles Reinvigorated Opposition - Thomas Erdbrink

(Washington Post) News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

IDF Kills Fatah Terrorists Responsible for Murdering Rabbi - Hanan Greenberg

The three men responsible for the shooting ambush Thursday, in which Rabbi Meir Hai, 40, a teacher and father of seven, was killed, were themselves killed by the Israel Defense Forces during military activity in Nablus on Saturday in three separate locations. A fourth suspect reportedly turned himself in to the PA authorities.

Sources in the IDF lauded the Palestinian security establishment Saturday for its conduct following the attack on Thursday, after Palestinian security forces detained 120 suspects. The PA forces "acted with determination, but alongside that we have the responsibility to act against whomever executed the attack and settle the score with them," said a senior officer with the IDF Central Command. (Ynet News)

One of the terrorists, Anan Sabah, had received a pardon from Israel as part of the deal under which fugitive terrorists hand in their weapons and promise to cease terrorist activity. (Jerusalem Post)

See also Rifle Seized in Nablus Raid Linked to Rabbi's Murder - Efrat Weiss The police forensics lab determined that the M-16 rifle which belonged to Tanzim member Anan Sabah, one of the Palestinian terrorists killed in Nablus Saturday, was found to be compatible with the bullet shells found at the scene of last week's murder of Rabbi Meir Hai. (Ynet News)

See also U.S. Asks Israel to Explain Killing of Fatah Terrorists - Barak Ravid

Senior Obama administration officials requested on Saturday that National Security Adviser Uzi Arad explain an IDF raid in Nablus which killed three Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists. Arad stressed that this was a case of self-defense, since the three were behind a terror attack on Thursday. The Obama administration did not formally protest or complain about the incident, but only sought clarifications. (Ha'aretz)

See also Fatah Accuses PA of Collusion with Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh

During the funerals on Sunday of the three veteran members and leaders of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, thousands of Palestinians chanted slogans accusing the PA of collusion with Israel and calling for an end to security coordination with Israel and dismantling the PA. One local journalist in Nablus called it "one of the biggest anti-Palestinian Authority demonstrations" in many years. For years during the second intifada, Nablus, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, was controlled by dozens of Fatah gunmen. (Jerusalem Post)

Three Palestinian Infiltrators from Gaza Killed - Anshel Pfeffer IDF soldiers killed three Palestinians crawling along the border between Israel and Gaza at 1 a.m. Saturday. The three had a rope ladder to scale the border barrier. (Ha'aretz) Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

Iran Unrest Isn't a Riot, It's an Earthquake - Zvi Bar'el To refer to what has been happening in Tehran over the last few days as "riots" is to gravely underestimate the power of the unrest erupting in the country since the June elections. The latest events are best described as further symptoms of an ongoing earthquake. Street protests have refused to abate for nearly half a year. The longer the demonstrations go on, the clearer it becomes that they're not aimed only at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Ha'aretz)

See also The Start of an Iranian Intifada - Meir Javedanfar

An Iranian-style intifada seems to be in the making. The protests now seem to carry the potential to turn into a full-scale civil disobedience campaign. If developments continue in their current form, they can result in significant changes to the structure of Supreme Leader Khamenei's regime, or more drastically, lead to its total demise. His decision to allow the Basij to mount an attack on mourners at Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral was one factor leading to the spread of opposition in rural areas, faster and more efficiently than any campaign the reformist camp could have orchestrated. Khamenei's full-scale assaults against mosques and religious members of the community are creating the nucleus of an ideology that is legitimizing opposition, not just in cities, but throughout Iran. (PBS) Egypt Sees Gaza Smuggling Tunnels as Security Threat - Roee Nahmias

The Egyptian state newspaper al-Ahram reported Saturday on the Gaza smuggling tunnel industry. The paper presents the tunnels as a national problem which compromises Egyptian security. The report claims that Hamas used the tunnels to smuggle the operatives who carried out the terror attack in central Cairo last February. "This raises the question of whether these tunnels threaten our national security," the report said. The tunnel operators have opened fire at Egyptian security forces a number of times in the past, and have killed and injured Egyptian soldiers.

(Ynet News)

Observations:

The Primary Threats Facing Israel Today - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)

Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed Israel's foreign policy at a special Knesset session on Dec. 23:

The Nuclear Threat: "People are looking differently at Iran now, because of the sequence of recent events....That's why there's now a possibility that the international community will impose tight sanctions against Iran....We're making every effort to guarantee a positive outcome. But of course, the decision will ultimately be made by the members of the Security Council, where even a single member can tip the scales the wrong way." The Missile Threat: "The threat of missiles and rockets is intensifying....[The] government has adopted a very simple policy: we won't tolerate any trickle or drizzle of rockets that later turns into rainfall and then a full-fledged storm. Any metal cylinder loaded with TNT that's fired, even if it lands in an open field...will result in a response."

The "Goldstone" Threat: "'Goldstone' has become code for a much broader phenomenon: the attempt to negate the legitimacy of our right to self-defense. It didn't just start now. The international campaign against Israel has gone on since the Durban Conference in 2000 and since the attempt in 2003 to condemn the security fence that has protected Israeli children - but is condemned just the same - in The Hague....

We all have a real problem here. Ehud Olmert speaks on campuses in the United States, and he's denounced as a war criminal. Defense Minister Ehud Barak - they want to arrest him in London. And there's a warrant out against Tzipi Livni, the Opposition leader....This is an all-out offensive, not just against one Israeli government or another."

The Palestinian Issue: "I spelled out two principles that almost everyone in the Knesset can rally around. The first one is the demand that the State of Israel be recognized as a Jewish state. This includes relinquishing any claim to a right of return - code for the destruction of the State of Israel - and an end to all other claims....

The second principle - which comes along with our recognition of the Palestinians' desire for a state of their own - is a demand for full demilitarization, so that things don't go back to the way they were....We need a real solution to guarantee demilitarization...we're going to have to insist on more than just words....

From day one, we told the...entire world that negotiations have to start right away....And it would be an understatement to say that we've never received a response....We still have a real desire to complete those negotiations based on the principles I talked about earlier."

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